MONDAY, Jan. 18, 2010 — James Sajdak

THEME: "Oh, Darling!" — theme answers begin with words that might be pet words for a loved one

Me = The Human Torch — I was in record territory on this one, time-wise. My fastest solve of 2010 so far, by a large margin (21 seconds faster than the LAT puzzle from 2 weeks ago). What's interesting about increasing your solving speed is that your experience feels like a highly condensed version of the solving you've always done. That is, in my case, I still had the experience of tripping and struggling and not knowing stuff right away, but all of it took place in super-fast-forward. For instance, I was wrong right off the bat, at 1A: Gremlins and Hornets, briefly (AMCS)I had GMCS. Ran the Downs up there and knew Right away that the "G" was wrong, but the other Downs worked, so I made the correction ("G" to "A") and moved on. Still, precious seconds lost. Next, and biggest, problem was failing to get the back end of HONEY TREE right away. Figured it was TREE, but refused to put it in, as I'm pretty sure there's no species of tree called a HONEY TREE. Must just be called that in Milne because, well, that's where the HONEY is. Thought it might be HONEY POTS or some such. Also, LILT didn't come quickly over there in the east (28D: Light, happy tune). So that made for some awkward, clunky, and comparatively slow solving. Late in the game, I put in SERB for SLAV (58D: Many a Balkan native). Sometimes my crossword reflexes kick in before my rational brain has time to process data. No sweat. Fixed it when I got CLOWN (62A: Pantomime performer at the circus). Done and done in 2:38.

Theme answers:

  • 20A: "The Nutcracker" dancer (SUGAR PLUM FAIRY)
  • 32A: Piano bar piano, often (BABY GRAND)
  • 45A: Pooh's food source (HONEY TREE)
  • 58A: Executive's golden parachute, e.g. (SWEETHEART DEAL) — had a small hesitation here, as I had the back end and thought the executive might be getting some kind of ART DEAL. Also, it took me a few seconds after completion to figure out the theme. Thought it was "sweet" words, but didn't know what to do with "BABY"...

Crosswordese 101: TARO (15A: South Seas edible root) — nutrient-rich plant whose root (actually, corm — a word I've never seen in xwords for some reason) is a staple of the South Pacific. Base ingredient in POI, for instance. TARO also has edible leaves, and (so wikipedia tells me) is thought to be one of the earliest cultivated plants. TARO belongs to the -ARO family of crossword words, which includes FARO (a card game) and KARO (a sweetening syrup made from corn).

See you Friday,


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]

Everything Else — 1A: Gremlins and Hornets, briefly (AMCS); 5A: Bay Area law enforcement org. (SFPD); 9A: When repeated, consoling expression (THERE); 14A: Cat's cry (MEOW); 15A: South Seas edible root (TARO); 16A: Female (WOMAN); 17A: Being, to Brigitte (ÊTRE); 18A: Sleep like __ (A LOG); 19A: Heroic tales (EPICS); 20A: "The Nutcracker" dancer (SUGARPLUM FAIRY); 23A: Well-thrown football pass (SPIRAL); 24A: Like the night (DARK); 25A: Omaha's state: Abbr. (NEB.); 27A: Canary color (YELLOW); 32A: Piano bar piano, often (BABY GRAND); 38A: Ross of "Lady Sings the Blues" (DIANA); 39A: Currency on the Continent (EURO); 40A: Lieu (STEAD); 42A: Bit of affection from Fido (LICK); 43A: In the least (AT ALL); 45A: Pooh's food source (HONEY TREE); 47A: Zoo swinger (MONKEY); 49A: Grand Canyon State sch. (ASU); 50A: Neuter, as a male horse (GELD); 53A: Blows, volcano-style (ERUPTS); 58A: Executive's golden parachute, e.g. (SWEETHEART DEAL); 62A: Pantomime performer at the circus (CLOWN); 63A: Border on (ABUT); 64A: Roy's cowgirl partner (DALE); 65A: Covered with asphalt (PAVED); 66A: "No problem" ("SURE"); 67A: Behold, in old Rome (ECCE); 68A: States unequivocally (AVERS); 69A: Bio lab gelatin (AGAR); 70A: Take ten (REST); 1D: "What __!": "Yuck!" (A MESS); 2D: Got together (with) (MET UP); 3D: Welsh dog (CORGI); 4D: Take a vow (SWEAR); 5D: Desktop tools (STAPLERS); 6D: Apple-picking season (FALL); 7D: __ as a peacock (PROUD); 8D: Religious doctrine (DOGMA); 9D: Fine-tuned (TWEAKED); 10D: Navajo neighbor (HOPI); 11D: Mideast chieftain (EMIR); 12D: Risqué (RACY); 13D: Naval Acad. grad (ENS.); 21D: "You __?": butler's question (RANG); 22D: Cook in oil (FRY); 26D: Shower alternative (BATH); 28D: Light, happy tune (LILT); 29D: Lion's den (LAIR); 30D: "Fool me __, shame on you ..." (ONCE); 31D: Waves behind a ship (WAKE); 32D: Smile from ear to ear (BEAM); 33D: Car (AUTO); 34D: Muffin stuff (BRAN); 35D: The sun in sunny side up (YOLK); 36D: Prefix with classical (NEO-); 37D: Comic Carvey (DANA); 41D: Military runaway (DESERTER); 44D: Popularly accepted tales (LEGENDS); 46D: Mongolian tent (YURT); 48D: "The best is __ to come" (YET); 51D: __ apso: dog (LHASA); 52D: Fix, as a computer program (DEBUG); 54D: Milk source (UDDER); 55D: Quiet companion? (PEACE); 56D: Locker room powders (TALCS); 57D: Icy winter weather (SLEET); 58D: Many a Balkan native (SLAV); 59D: Made on a loom (WOVE); 60D: Washstand pitcher (EWER); 61D: Pervasive emanation (AURA); 62D: Tax returns pro, for short (CPA).


xyz said...

Slightly more enjoyable than the NYT today to me.

ETRE is an infinitive, don't get how "Being" qualifies as an infinitive. Knew from crosswordese what was meant, but thought it sloppy

Parsan said...

This was just a fill in the blanks puzzle for me, a throw back to ones we had several months ago.

While there was almost no bad fill and the theme was obvious, it seemed the answers were fine but the clues were mediocre.

Sfingi said...

Don't know French, so didn't even have to think. If this was that easy for me, Rex must have finished in negative time.

I wanted to post a Gary Larson cartoon in which sharks are eating surfers and saying something like, "Wow - no feathers, fur, claws," but couldn't find it.

ImTheDamnedFoolWhoBoughtAYellowGremlin said...

Is there a rule as to how long something has to be dead before it gets clued as "Once" or "Erstwhile"? AMC ceased to exist as of 1987. Their cars had a life expectancy of 5 years, so the company doesn't exist, nor do any examples of their products exist outside museums.


I had a big party here last night and so I "slept like ALOG"... yikes, it's almost ten AM. A fun Monday puzzle and Rex writeup. I finished fast but not like LE TORCH!!! I laughed a lot, especially when I read 30D "Fool me ___, shame on you..." All I could think of was the President Bush spoonerisms.

The TERMS OF AFFECTION theme was also a lot of fun, but I think most women nowadays would cringe at hearing those saccharin terms.
What do you women think about that?

I was once called a Luddite by you-know-who. Well just to show you how unlud my brain is, when I saw the clue "Desktop tools", I immediately tried to fill in all sorts of computer-desktop tools into 5D. STAPLER??? Aha! Duh!

When I saw 1A "Gremlins and Hornets", I tried to think of a sports team. And I was the one who boasted yesterday about knowing all the model names of every car...sheesh!

When I was a kid, I thought Roy Rogers and DALE Evans were the epitome of good cowboys/cowgirls and they had such a solid marriage. What a great example they were for youngsters.

I often wondered what a YURT is. Then I went to Alaska and saw a YURT in Talkeetna.

Have a great week y'all!



Was it this one?

Tinbeni said...

Yup! It's Monday. Nice theme, easy puzzle. Also my fastest time EVER.

Only write over, had Grin for 'Smile from ear to ear' easily corrected to BEAM.

Knew it was SLAV without thinking, the two years in Zagreb helped. In the Balkans, there are Serbs, Croats, Slovene, Bosnian, etc. but they consider themselves "Yugoslavian" or Slav.

Upon reflection, Honey Pots makes more sense; but this is a CW, so sense has little to do with answers sometimes.

@Rex - Write-up and clips were more interesting than the puzzle.

GoG8rs said...

I needed today's easy Monday to get a little of my cw confidence back. Been doing well on the late week and Sunday puzzles lately but not this weekend. Sunday was especially difficult as I hadn't heard of the majority of the cars. Oddly, I did do well on most of the words that were complained about but it was not enough to get me through.
Interesting that the Sunday & Monday puzzle both had different answers to the clue "No problem." Guess that's what keeps us on our mental toes.
@JNH I can't imagine many females taking exception to today's terms of endearment...a lot kinder than some of the ways women are referred to in today's culture.

Van55 said...

Easy, breezy, enjoyable Monday puzzle. Nothing to cavil about.

backbiter said...

I have to say after reading the blog speedsolving just isn't my bag. Sure I can speedsolve with the best of 'em. But I'd rather light my cigar, pour a bourbon and take my time. After all I have several puzzles to go through. Anyway, that's just me. Thought I'd mention it. Nice light puzzle today. Very cute.

CrazyCat said...

This was a nice respite from yesterday's slog. My best time yet - 7 min 50 secs. Hand up for SERB, but fixed it quickly. Also started off confidently with CARS in 1 A. Still thinking about yesterday's theme I guess. Again realized my mistake right away. My husband has been calling me Sweetie or Honey for 32 years and I'm AOK with that.

Anonymous said...

First thought for Gremlins and Hornets was some nerdball comicon sort of thing. Who knew it was Wayne's World in disguise?

I like to savor puzzles, too, not speed solve. Usually start them on the can before coffee - on paper, not the Apple.

Anonymous said...

I agree with @Anon9:42 and @Backbiter
I just want to kick back and relax with my daily crosswords.
Speed solving is tantamount to "inhaling" a gourmet meal and then bragging about how fast you can eat. Sort of boorish, like the contestants who claim they can glut over 100 hot hogs in 10 minutes.
Is this where crosswording has gotten to? No brains, just brute speed?
I see very little literate finesse to that approach... makes me want to gag!

lit.doc said...

Perfect Monday. Perfect. This is just the sort of gateway puzzle that drew me into the addiction. Fun, but not too easy, and much more interesting and much cleaner than the crap in the local daily that my students made me start doing a couple of years ago. All that plus it’s a themed puzzle, which I didn’t think was a Monday thing. Very cool. Big round of applause for James Sadjak, please.

The only thing that occurred to me that would have made it even better would be if it were published on Valentine’s Day (or maybe even the day after, as would be necessary this year).

@the redanman, I noticed the infinitive gaff in the cluing, and it made me once again wish that CWs indicated the editor's emendations to the clues. This one’s Rich Norris’s doing either way, in a sense—either he put it in, or failed to fix it.

@JNH, my wife would frequently call me Punkin’, so not to worry—it isn’t just the guys who do the pet name thing. And thanks for the cartoon.

@Rex, glad to see the puzzle didn’t leave you feeling cranky! Enjoyed the write up, nonethess (your NYT write-ups were *so* funny this past week). J [WTF? That J was a smiley face in Word. Oh well, much to learn re html, I guess.]

shrub5 said...

I made the SERB/SLAV mistake also but that was my only writeover.

Fave clues/answers: Quiet companion?/PEACE and Muffin stuff/BRAN.

When I got the answer for 9A) THERE (When repeated, consoling expression), I was reminded of Gertrude Stein's remark about Oakland, CA: "There's no there there." Apparently, she did not say this to disparage Oakland but was referring to the fact that her childhood home had been torn down (wiki). Columnist Herb Caen (SF Chronicle), however, used the quote repeatedly to knock Oakland. In 1988, a sculpture was placed in the Oakland City Center titled "There."

Tinbeni said...

Thanks for the "Fool me once...UHH..." clip and the Larsen cartoon.

Now you don't mean those RACY, but nice, 'terms of endearment' so prevalent in RAP love songs do you?


My gal-pal calls me LICK... probably TMI.

@Backbiter & @Anon 9:42/10:06
I do the CW's on paper in ink, while I watch SportCenter or the morning news.
My time measure is how many cups of coffee it takes.
Would like to have my avatar, Scotch, but damn, it IS 6:00 am.
Today it was one cig. and three sips.

When our Hosts here, Rex Parker, Orange or PuzzleGirl mention their solve times it relates to puzzle difficulty. They are three of the Best at doing crossword puzzles. Those of us who check here often know this and don't take exception.

Burner10 said...

I'm ditto - and even tho I don't keep formal time I was thinking that if today's smooth solving is any kind of cosmic clue for the week - it bodes well.
Had a baseball (maybe t-ball) coach back in the day who called everyone 'babe'. It was a team of young lads and she was a fabulous athlete, worked in show biz for her day job, and was the mom of twins who played on the team. She could call those little guys anything - they loved her so. we parents called her Coach Babe.
Why does happy MLK sound so wrong?

Carol said...

@JNH - Speaking as a woman, I really rather like it when my hubby of 41 years uses an endearment. Maybe not all women do, but I don't know any who do.

@Rex - I've never been in a crossword puzzle tournament (and would probably come in dead last, if even accepted!), but isn't solving time used in the scoring? It must take hours of practice to be able to read the clues and come up with the answers that quickly!

I use a pen to fill out the crosswords - thank goodness for eraseable pens! :)

Good easy Monday puzzle.

mac said...

Sorry, but etre = being, as well as "to be". Ever heard of raison d'etre?

Good puzzle, nice theme, which they probably should have saved for Valentine's Day. But maybe there is a heart shaped grid waiting for us!

bluebell said...

I first learned lilt as a noun in a crossword, and still can't get used to it. I've never heard anyone speak of a lilt. A lilting voice, a lilting tune, yes.

Milne was a favorite of my granddaughter when she was little, and the honey tree was a gimme.

I liked the zoo swinger. Perhaps swinging to a lilt?


Nice puzzle today. Smiled when I saw more cars listed again!

As far as endearments and speaking as another woman, I like it when any of these endearments are used. I thought it might be generational but that can't be it either, my 18 year old son calls his girlfriend, Babe or Baby, and I know she likes that too.

Rex Parker said...

"No brains," that's me! I find that by making myself stupider (through watching "American Idol," reading comics, etc.), my solving speed goes way way up. So weird... someone should study that phenomenon.


James said...

Thanks for some kind words from the group. The puzzle might have been nice on Valentine's Day, but I was delighted that Rich ran this on the day after our 40th wedding anniversary. Though dated the 18th, it came out before midnight on the 17th. My sweetheart loved the gift.

Argyle said...

My personal choice for the theme was: Something a husband says when the wife is mad, "Sugar, baby, honey, sweetheart, I'm sorry!"

Orange said...

Happy 40th anniversary to you and your SWEETHEART, Jim! Lovely timing.

Speed-solving is not remotely like force-feeding a gourmet meal down one's gullet at high speed. I solve at the speed it takes me to answer the clues—no more, no less. It just doesn't take me long to chew and swallow a clue, that's all. (I've been doing crosswords since I was a kid, have a good vocabulary, and have a great memory for things like crossword fill.) Other people's talents lie in sports or music, which I have no aptitude for. Do I say it's crass for a runner to zip through a 10k rather than slowing down to enjoy the scenery? I do not.

"No brains"? That's rich. How on earth could someone use brute speed, and not brains, to correctly answer all the clues in a Saturday crossword?

Zeke said...

I'ld love to get in on the Speed Solving Good/Evil converation, but I've been chortling over "Gremlins and Hornets, briefly" for the past 3 hours, and so can't formulate my opinion.

Entropy said...

OK, I still check your time at your "Diary Fiend" blog. I also noted you were in the 'Top Ten' last year at the ACPT.

I also remember a couple of weeks ago @Rex, either here or at the his NYT blog, made a comment that the ability to do crosswords (and I believe he implied, FAST) wasn't necessarily about mental acuity alone.

I have come and gone from doing these things on a regular basis over the years. When I come back, I have to learn the "tricks of the trade" again.

I respect the Hosts here for their insight and making my experience more enjoyable, the CW101, some tips, etc. about cluing.

Or as you pointed out: Should Bolt run slower in the 100m dash? NO!

Then there is that Practice, Practice, Practice idiom ...

The earlier 3 comments (2 Anon) about speed-solving don't get it, and never will.

CrazyCat said...

@Tinbeni - I think I'd have to draw the line at SUGARPLUM.
@James - Happy 40th to you and your HONEY. Very nice puzzle
@Anon10:46 and Backbiter
I can only speak for myself, but I do the early week puzzles on paper with a pencil. I try to better my personal time as an extra challenge when the puzzles are easy for me. It helps me to realize that my solving skills are actually improving. With late week puzzles, I don't bother. Yesterday's puzzle, for instance, took me half the day. Trying to solve an easy Monday puzzle quickly has absolutely no correlation to scarfing down a gourmet meal.
@Backbiter bourbon and cigars just aren't my favorites for breakfast.
@Anon 10:42 - TMI!

chefbea said...

Easy lovey puzzle.

I never time myself. Like to do them leisurely, especially Sunday.

We saw Yurts in Arizona a couple of years ago. We went into one where a lady braided the hair of one of the girls in our group

lit.doc said...

@mac, interesting point. Pulled down my French ref's and checked. Though raison d'etre is usually "reason for being" in casual English, it's more correct as "reason (or justification) for the existence of someone or something". Or simply "reason to exist", which is an infinitive construction.

CrazyCat said...

I mean @ anon 9:42

lit.doc said...

I hate to dignify erodents with any notice at all, but that sort of ignorant snottyness has no place here. Be polite to our hosts or scurry off.

Note to the humans in this public space: Rex observed fairly recently (in reply to someone's more polite query re completion times on his NYT blog, I believe) that the only useful point of reference re our completion times is our previous times.

Solving quickly is not "speed solving". Like Orange, I solve at the rate at which I'm able to figure out the answers, and I find it extremely encouraging to see my times gradually go down, not because I'm getting faster as such but because its a measure of increased skill and knowledge. How can that not be a good thing?

Charlie don't tweet said...

I think they should make neatness count in CWP solving. That makes more sense than just speed.
Then, when you cross QWIJIBO with QUEENARSE, you'd get like half marks or something.

Once I did one of those "alphabet run" clue/ans as ABCF. I thought "hmmm. Must be a rebus ...."

mac said...

@lit.doc: not a perfect example, but "un etre (humain, peut-etre)" is a being.

Charles Bogle said...

ditto what @lit.doc said (the first time)...congrats, @james!

@Rex: great write-up...did not know TARO, YURT, LHASA, AGAR, CORGI, ECCE (still hazy on that last one)

@Rex: LaDainian who?

Two minor suggestions: DARK and FALL might have been clued a little tougher (even on Monday)

Nice work

Sfingi said...

@John - Yes! No wonder. They were alligators, not sharks. Very much appreciated. Reminds me of when I get a non sports, non Hairy Potter puzzle.

As for sweet nothings - just don't call hubby a golden GELD.

Lilt as a verb puts me in mind o.f - "Dost thou?" and she dusted. Something my mother used to say

I might be able to go faster some day when I go on the computer to do the cw. But, presently, it's a good thing to have with me for my visits to the Home. Sometimes, I even have 3 with me. Anyway, I enjoy my pastel pens.

@LitDoc - Personal Best?


Regarding solving speed... it is encouraging as I see my times go from hours to minutes. Just proof that coming to this blog is having a good influence. I don't really expect that I'll ever get to the ORREXPG rates unless I can take 30 or 40 years off my age.

@James (and his Sweetheart)
Congratulations on your 40th and best wishes in your next 40 years.

Thought others might also get a laugh out of that "Fool me once...UHH..." video clip.
That and yesterday's WHITE HOUSE EGG ROLL video clip had me ROFLMAO.

Gary Larson toons make me think alot (as well as chortle). I just wondered if PETA could use that one in their commercials.

I agree on the neatness point. I often wonder if the ACPT takes points off for the number of erasures. For a while I was doing my CWs in ink so that I'd carefully think through all the crosses before I'd commit to an entry. That took me a lot longer, but I felt a lot better when I got through the entire puzzle without backtracking.

@all women
Thanks for participating in my "terms of endearment" official survey. Seems that not even one of you minded being called SUGAR, BABY, HONEY, or SWEET.
And @lit.doc, I too was called "punkin' head" (by one of our bloggers) and I sort of liked that.

Entropy said...

I just went and viewed the WHITE HOUSE EGG ROLL, you posted it on Saturday, if anyone needs a ROFLMAO moment NOW!
Great surprised guest ending.

Saw your luddite comment earlier.
I take it there is an ongoing debate over whether it is better to do CW's on paper -v- computer, With minor debate between pencil or in ink?

I like to do them in ink.
It actually slows me down since I check out the crosses before writing an answer (usually).
Then again, if I hurry or make errors, I do sometimes have a grid that looks like my own personal Rorschack Ink Blot test. (like on Saturday)

NO PROBLEM, they give me a new one tomorrow.

PuzzleGirl said...

Even though I am by far the slowest of your three blog hosts, I do like to keep track of my time and work at getting faster. I don't really feel like I should have to justify that to anyone. It's just how it is for me. And there is at least one thing I can say for speed solvers: I've never seen one show up here and start insulting the non-speed solvers.

@JNH: I would rather be called any one of those terms than MA'AM.

lit.doc said...

@sfingi, yes, it was a Personal Best for a LAT (despite help from my late-night solving partner Jameson's), and thank you for asking. Broke the nine-minute barrier for the first time. Waited this late to reply 'cause I was already at three posts...

Tinbeni said...

I'm a very happy non-speed solver.
"Set in my way" of removing the crossword from the newspaper, folding it crisply to fit exactly right on my clip-board. I plod along to completion.
Measuring my time by 'Mugs of Coffee' ... and I have no idea how long in minutes a 'mug of coffee' is.

The Ma'am quote made me LOL. I've had several gal-pals who have said the exact same thing.
"I was in a store and he called me Ma'am!!!
I wanted to deck the little twerp!"

Maybe I should do these at night with my avatar.
But it's like I learned a long time ago ...
"Don't Drink and Think!"

Anonymous said...

ETRE can indeed be properly translated as 'being.' I can't use diacritical marks on this keypad, but "J'ai horreur d'etre tout seul" translates as "I hate being all alone." Sartre's book [I think it was his] was titled "l'Etre et le neant" and was aptly called "Being and nothingness" in English.

I do keep track of my times while solving only to see if I'm getting better. I'm not competing with anyone except myself. I lost a few seconds on DEBUG and the TREE source of Pooh's "hunny." The Milne books were a favorite as a kid!

I passed out copies of the puzzle to my 2 neighbors, because they complain the Chicago Trib puzzles are "too hard." They loved it, am glad to say. I felt a little like a drug pusher, sharing my addiction!

chefbea said...

As I recall.. at the small tournament in Westport ct. there is a prize for neatness

Anonymous said...

ETRE can indeed be properly translated as 'being.' I can't use diacritical marks on this keypad, but "J'ai horreur d'etre tout seul" translates as "I hate being all alone." Sartre's book [I think it was his] was titled "l'Etre et le neant" and was aptly called "Being and nothingness" in English.

I do keep track of my times while solving only to see if I'm getting better. I'm not competing with anyone except myself. I lost a few seconds on DEBUG and the TREE source of Pooh's "hunny." The Milne books were a favorite as a kid!

I passed out copies of the puzzle to my 2 neighbors, because they complain the Chicago Trib puzzles are "too hard." They loved it, am glad to say. I felt a little like a drug pusher, sharing my addiction!
split infinif

Sfingi said...

@PuzzleGirl - Yes M'am, SIR!
I was in a stop on the Mass Pike and they asked me if I wanted Sr. coffee.

@Tinbeni - Clipboards are good. I keep one around for people who want to supervise just me while I do housework, etc.

Tinbeni said...

SIR! isn't as bad. and I do enjoy the Sr.coffee.
I hope you keep that clipboard handy to klunk those 'supervisors' on the noggin!

mac said...

@Anonymouse6.42/6.44: you might say: "to be or not to be".

backbiter said...

Anon's comment about "no brains, brute speed" was uncalled for. I just mentioned something in passing and he turned it into that? *sighs* Oh well, what the hell are ya gonna do?

Charlie don't tweet said...

[Note to self: Delete cookies, delete browsing history, anonymize then TROLL THIS BOARD for recreation].

I don't speed-solve, but appreciate those who do for the simple reasons that a) I get a few difficulty indicators from experts, and b) (OK I forget 'b').

I like to peruse the grid, have a look at the byline, suss the theme stuff (@ 17-, 27-, 43- and 52 A!!!) or whatever. Then, I start at 66-D and work up to 1-A.

By the time I'm done, unless it's a push-over, I generally have to shave again.

When I try to speed-solve I get all antsy, like ' okokokok, "rebuke to Caesar" .... E.. E.. E .. EFFU! EFFU Caesar! And put them stupid vowels in the right order. It's CEASAR, you damn ... dead guy. Take EASOP with ya on the way out, his Daddy couldn't spell either.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
xyz said...

@Mac and @ ham-handy anony-none-muss post X2

re: ETRE

It is a Monday puzzle and I still maintain it's a sloppy clue for a Monday.

ETRE can indeed be properly translated as 'being.' I can't use diacritical marks on this keypad, but "J'ai horreur d'etre tout seul" translates as "I hate being all alone." Sartre's book [I think it was his] was titled "l'Etre et le neant" and was aptly called "Being and nothingness" in English.

can properly be = mayy also be as the same phrase can be "I hate to be by myself".

l'ETRE is not ETRE, c'est ne pas le même chose!

using the partitive vs. the absolute is necessary in French you order du vin rouge, not le vin rouge or you'll get all the red wine in the world

"does not translate" or idiomatic - again, we're Monday here - sloppy or just a rote method, you decide

Also, diacritical marks as in même can be accesed from a word processing program (Insert symbol)or another location if you want to cut & paste and there are also keyboard process options, shortcuts available ...