Friday, August 7, 2020, Chuck Deodene

Title: Not easy to define

This is our 8th puzzle from Chuck, and my 5th time blogging his work. Chuck began making puzzles in the '90s with his first 33 publications in the NYT. His last appearance here was in 2019 on a Wednesday where I was pinch-hitting. We have had a number of "one word is the clue for the theme answers" puzzles before, but MONITOR made this effort unique. It can't be a spoiler to mention that the four grid spanning answers are all clued that way. I was surprised to learn that MONITOR had never been a clue in the LAT! Until today. It has only been used twice in the NYT, both in the '90s, and once in USA Today. I also still remember the story from the Civil War of the first battle of two ironclad warships. The Union Monitor, and the Rebel Merrimack (rechristened Virginia). HISTORY.

With 60 spaces committed to 4 answers, there was not much room for long sparkly fill, but we are treated to E-TAILED, SPATULA, BRIDGE TOLL, and LONG MEMORY, my favorite. It reminds me of the amazing phenomenon of a wife's ability to never forget a transgression, yet always needing help to find the keys. I have again highlighted in red the two entries that make their crossword puzzle debut.


17A. Monitor: OLD WORLD REPTILE (15). They are now roaming here in FLORIDA.

26A. Monitor: HALLWAY OVERSEER (15). The human type of monster, at times.

46A. Monitor: COMPUTER DISPLAY (15). A CSO to so many here, but especially -T and TTP who are invaluable in bringing some of us into the 21st century.

60A. Monitor: IRONCLAD WARSHIP (15). Okay, I already did this one.

The rest.


1. Drops from a workout: SWEAT. A great visual start, though we are not ready to go back to the gym yet.

6. Singer who co-founded the AIDS-fighting Product Red: BONO.
The concept was founded in 2006 by U2 frontman and activist Bono, together with Bobby Shriver of the One Campaign and DATA.

10. Grand slam quartet: Abbr.: RBIS. Baseball.

14. Was obligated: HAD TO.

15. Aspire laptop maker: ACER. A Taiwanese computer company.

16. Danish architect Jacobsen: ARNE. This MAN.

20. Sold online: E-TAILED.

21. Progressive promoter played by Stephanie Courtney: FLO. We all know (love/hate) FLO but not STEPHANIE.

22. Accomplished: DID.

23. Sever, with "off": LOP.

24. Elegantly groomed: SOIGNÉ. A Friday French fill.

32. Brief "I think": IMO. In My Opinion.

33. "Meh": SO SO.

34. H.S. ordeal: SAT.

35. Bring together: SYNC.

37. Mozart title word meaning "all": TUTTE.

39. Fluctuate: YO YO.

42. Noir film weapon: GAT. The gun needed to shoot people.

44. Zig or zag: VEER.

45. Supervillain Luthor: LEX. Was he, or was he just misunderstood?

51. Common soccer tie: ONE-ONE. Nil-nil?

52. Suffix with propyl: ENE.

53. It may be glazed: HAM. Sorry, I am not a Ham expert, unless you mean acting.

54. Stipulations: IFS. Ands, or buts. My parents did not want any of them.

56. Hash house tool: SPATULA. My mind always goes here.

63. Outlying area, briefly: BURB.

64. Pod in Southern cooking: OKRA.

65. Civil penalties: FINES.

66. Novelist Seton: ANYA.  This PERSON.

67. German no: NEIN.

68. Nectarine center: STONE. LINK.


1. Enclosure for piggies?: SHOE. This little piggy went to market...

2. Basketball Hall of Famer Frazier: WALT. Now more famous for

3. Icelandic literary work: EDDA.

4. Whenever one's heart desires: AT WILL.

5. Like pitches in the dirt: TOO LOW.

6. Short on tread: BALD. Tires.

7. Monk's condition, in the TV show: OCD. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. It is a blessing and a curse for Monk.

8. Indoor ball brand: NERF.

9. Warning words: OR ELSE.

10. Pixar's aspiring chef Remy is one: RAT.

11. Fee for crossing: BRIDGE TOLL. Very common going in to or out of Manhattan.

12. Queued up: INLINE.

13. Farm equipment: SEEDER.

18. Meal: REPAST. Do you past again?

19. Possessive on a stock index: POOR'S. A Standard fill.

25. "Good gracious!": I SAY. Miss Molly?

26. Quick hellos: HIS.

27. "Making It" co-host Poehler: AMY. With Mr. Offerman.

28. Grudge holder's trait: LONG MEMORY. 'Nuff said.

29. "__ got this!": YOU'VE.

30. KitchenAid competitor: OSTER.

31. Cast a ballot: VOTED. Timely. Please vote, not endorsement included.

36. Mob boss: CAPO. Do they play the guitar?

38. Keystone St. port: ERIE PA. Our longtime CSO.

40. Word of support: YEA.

41. Clearasil shelfmate: OXY.

43. Roman top: TUNIC.

46. Caribbean cigar brand: COHIBA.

47. Practicing for the marathon, say: ON A RUN.

48. 1938 Dupont discovery: TEFLONHISTORY.

49. Inhales at mealtime: SNARFS.

50. Watch a boxer, e.g.: PET SIT.

55. Advantage: SAKE.

56. "__ Lake": SWAN. EVERYTHING you need to know about the ballet.

57. "Hmm ... don't think so": UH NO.

58. It may be on the house: LIEN. I love the pun, but lien searches are not free.

59. Abbey area: APSE. This was introduced to the NYT by Chuck.

61. Org. with a February All-Star Weekend: NBA. They are playing again. The HEAT won their first game back.

62. Soft and __: deodorant: DRI. I love how Chuck began with SWEAT and ended with a deodorant. I hope you did not have to SWEAT the solve and have enjoyed the tour. In addition to introducing 2 new words today, Chuck has introduced 231 answers to the NYT- the LIST- including such favorites like ISAO and UZIS. Thank you Mr. Deodene and all who read and write.

I am a bit baffled by our new blogging format and incredibly busy at work, but I guess this is okay. Lemonade out.

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