TUESDAY, Dec. 1 2009 — 1980s soap opera set at a winery / Repetitively named Philippine province / Six-time baseball All-Star Sandy

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Constructors: Jonah Kagan and Victor Fleming

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: BREAKFAST (56A: Part of a morning routine ... or a literal hint to 18-, 22-, 35- and 49-Across) — theme answers begin with FA- and end with -ST. Buncha letters in between thus, technically, literally, BREAK FAST in two.

Word of the Day: "FALCON CREST" (22A: 1980s soap opera set at a winery) — Falcon Crest is an American primetime television soap opera which aired on the CBS network for nine seasons, from December 4, 1981 to May 17, 1990. A total of 227 episodes were produced. // The series centers around the feuding factions of the wealthy Gioberti/Channing family in the Californian wine industry. Jane Wyman stars as Angela Channing, the tyrannical matriarch of the Falcon Crest Winery, alongside of Robert Foxworth as Chase Gioberti, Angela's nephew who returns to Falcon Crest following the death of his father, and Lorenzo Lamas as Lance Cumson, Angela's playboy grandson. The series was set in the fictitious Tuscany Valley (modeled after the Napa Valley) just north of San Francisco.



-----

Quick write-up this morning, as I have to work today. Nice long break coupled with birthday and Thanksgiving makes it feel like "work" was another lifetime ago. And today shows "December" on the Calendar. All in all, kind of a slap-in-the-face morning. This puzzle was fine. I thought I'd seen the theme before, but I can't verify that. Pretty loose as themes go, but it's got the BREAKFAST revealer (only two instances of BREAKFAST in the cruciverb.com database??), and the theme answers are mostly entertaining. FALL HARVEST is a dud, but the others are cool. Maybe would have been nice not to have two TV shows (spread the FA-ST love around to other media), but "FATHER KNOWS BEST" fits so nicely across the grid, and "FALCON CREST" is campy fun, so why not?

Theme answers:

  • 18A: Magical powder (FAiry duST)
  • 22A: 1980s soap opera set at a winery ("FAlcon CreST)
  • 35A: 1950s-'60s sitcom that ran on all three networks ("FAther Knows BeST")
  • 49A: Occasion for pumpkin picking (FAll harveST)

All of my difficulty (or nearly all of it) came right off the bat, in the NW, where I made the sucker's move of putting in KOUFAX for ALOMAR (2D: Six-time baseball All-Star Sandy). If I'd just put in CAIRO at 1A: City near the Great Sphinx I probably wouldn't have fallen into that trap, but CAIRO didn't occur to me — or, rather, seemed too obvious, so I bypassed it, and then KOUFAX went in, and that section got bogged down. ILOILO (3D: Repetitively named Philippine province) is a horrible bit of fill that I've seen a handful of times now. No problems today, but thank god I'd seen it before, or I don't know how long it would have taken me to rectify the NW. I didn't know ILOILO was pronounced as repetitions of the same sound (i.e. ILO ILO). My brain always pronounced it "IL OILO." Other sticking points included ESCORT (46D: Front car in a motorcade) — sounds vaguely familiar, but did not spring to mind at all as I was solving — and RBI (57D: A sac fly earns one) — I had RUN.

Bullets:

  • 21A: Peeved (in a pet) — crosswords are the only place that people are IN A PET any more. Not a favorite bit of fill, but better this complete form than the (oft seen) partial, APET.
  • 8D: Net mag (e-zine) — another dud I'd rather never see again, or certainly not in the same grid with IN A PET and ILOILO. I will say, though, that E-ZINE beats E-MAG, if only because of the "Z."


  • 38D: Duped (had) — interesting clue. The "D" here was my last letter in the grid. I am (for some reason) vaguely curious about last letters. I wonder what a scatter plot (is that the right term?) of the placement of my last letters would look like. I feel like I had a strong pull to the west — generally direction tends to be clockwise-ish starting in the NW and coming around and ending in the far W. I may start keeping track of this last-letter stat, just for fun.

OK, see you tomorrow.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]

P.S. if you haven't already, why not sample the array of extra puzzles I've published over the past week. Two are available from links in upper sidebar, and a third (released yesterday) is available right here: "Aces!"

82 comments:

joho 8:18 AM  

I really liked this puzzle. Did it late last night but didn't get the theme until I took another look this morning. I was thinking where's where's the eggs, where's the bacon?

For the second day in a row, this puzzle is just a "J" short of a pangram.

Loved WAWA.

And I can't resist: FIREry RUMS and SOOTHing, BOUTIQUE WINES in CASKS and CARAFES did not allow FATHER, who usually KNOWS BEST, to AVERT TIEing ONE ON. In fact, he ended up in such a well-OILED state as to FALL on the FLOOR.

Thanks, Jonah and Victor for great Tuesday solve!

nanpilla 8:24 AM  

This one felt much easier than yesterday's, and with more straight forward cluing. I liked:
TWEEZES
BOUTIQUE
TIE ONE ON
EROTICA
But the rest of the fill seemed very run of the mill, other than ILOILO, which I don't remember ever seeing before. (Just looked it up - it was used June 17th this year, but that was when I was on the horseback adventure with my daughter in France. That's what I get for missing a few crosswords!) The repetitive bit in the clue helped a lot there.

fikink 8:32 AM  

Good Morning, Everyone!
The FIL is safely ensconced in his little house across the pasture and I am back doing the NYT puzzles in real time. (He does them in the Des Moines Register which lags the NYT puzzle by 5 weeks.)
Thanks to everyone for their warm thoughts over the past months. They have kept me going!
I have not been able to follow the comments and hope to read all of them retroactively.
Meantime, I will be lurking for a while and hope not to repeat recent discussion.
I looked at yesterday's posts - It was a thrill to see all the familiar Avatars. (Stan, you've changed yours, and Joho, too!)
It is good to be back among all of you.

Anonymous 8:34 AM  

Didn't love WA WA.

It's spelled "WAH WAH".

tptsteve 8:52 AM  

I liked this one- no SANDY confusion here. RESECT is a great word.
I've never heard of IN A PET; does anyone know if it's a regional saying?

PlantieBea 8:52 AM  

Like nanpilla, this felt easier than yesterday's. Thought the theme was fine for Tuesday--a breakfast test. I just looked up "in a pet" and see pet, meaning peevishness, dates back to 1590. I've never used this phrase. The lower puzzle is a party place today with, TIED ONE ON, ALE, ON THE FLOOR, wined and DINED with a sobering dose of BREAKFAST.

Ruth 8:53 AM  

Agree, Anon 8:34. WAWA could be clued nicely as "Ontario town named for the Ojibway word for Canada Goose". Went there once. Not sure why. (I know why, actually--my hubby wanted to revisit the site of a trip he took with other Chrysler engineers in 1970, testing car defrosters in a suitably harsh winter climate. Fascinating stuff)

Meg 9:00 AM  

3 baseball answers on top of each other (ALOMAR, ALEX and RBI). On purpose or just a coincidence?

I think Falconcrest was a sorry attempt at doing DALLAS in California, or maybe it was all a dream.....

I held off on Koufax, and thankfully remembered ILOILO from a previous puzzle. SLOAN came to me after running the PBS intros through my head.

This was a nice, easy Tuesday with no weird clues.

edith b 9:01 AM  

Put in KOUFAX at 2D which kept me from seeing the relationship between 1A and 9D for awhile. Aside from this screw-up - which was all on me - I agree with nanpilla that this one was easier than yesterday.

I didn't figure out what the theme meant until later but that didn't affect the solve. I particularly liked the FEZ FAIRYDUST INAPET stack in the Ohio region for reasons that are not immediately clear.

Once again, just because the puzzle was easy didn't make it any less enjoyable.

Elaine 9:09 AM  

I rate this EASY, but less enjoyable than yesterday's because it was the old "taking dictation" feeling. I had to change FALSE to FAKED and CASES to CASKS, but missed a number of clues (I had to look for WAWA after reading the Comments) just because it filled so quickly via the Acrosses.

As I put CAIRO in first (despite feeling suspicious) I did not fall for Sandy Koufax; how many times was HE an All-Star? gotta be plenty.

See you tomorrow, she said, heading out the door.

ArtLvr 9:09 AM  

@ fikink -- welcome back! We missed you.

The top went so swiftly, I got carried away... but then I fit in Oktoberfest as a pumpkin-picking occasion (?) However, NEARLY immediately afterward I got BREAKFAST, and all fell from there.

Very enjoyable, and congrats to Jonah Kagan on his NYT debut!

∑;)

Van55 9:16 AM  

Nice Tuesday.

ArtLvr 9:17 AM  

p.s. After yesterday's double O's, loo-zoo, etc., i got a kick out of more again here: ROOST, GOOSE, MOO, FLOOR and especially SOOTH for Truth.

∑;)

readingwithmytwin 9:19 AM  

I had to come here today to get the theme...I thought Fairy Fast? Fast Dust? So thanks for clearing that up--now I can't believe I didn't see it.

I'd never heard of RESECT and loved TWEEZES. Good show.

joho 9:28 AM  

@fikink ... so wonderful to have you back!

retired_chemist 9:29 AM  

Welcome back, fikink! Glad the news is good re FIL.

Medium puzzle. Hand up for thinking CAIRO was too obvious (How far is it from the Great Sphinx anyway?)

No KOUFAX here - by the time I looked @ 2D I had three correct crosses.

Modest boo re LASES (31A). Lasers do not necessarily cut, and light other than lasers can, after a fashion, cut.

OK puzzle but not memorable.

The Corgi of Mystery 9:38 AM  

Hm. I think Blogger ate my comment. Take 2...

Rex, your last-letter distribution idea is interesting. I think you'd want a density plot rather than a scatter plot (which is used to find a correlation between 2 variables), possibly dividing the grid into 25 3x3 square segments and computing frequencies in each. It'd also be cool to have a bunch of people participate in this so that one could get statistics for how homogenous/heterogenous the difficulty of a grid is based on the distribution of last letters placed.

Bob Kerfuffle 9:41 AM  

Above average Tuesday, I thought.

@Ruth - WAWA is also a chain of 7-11 style markets in the Mid-Atlantic states.

Judith 9:44 AM  

Not an x-word puzzle comment BUT

Has anyone else had problems with their Java quitting? Sometimes it won't load when I do the puzzle online, today it quit when I hit the submit button. By the time I got the puzzle back--incorrect ;(
10 minutes had passed. This happens at least twice a month!

Any ideas would be appreciated...

mexgirl 9:49 AM  

I stared at TIEONEON for what seemed like an eternity and couldn't make up its meaning. Then finally got it: TIE ONE ON! ...........but still don't get it.
Damn English idioms!

Ruth 10:00 AM  

@bob K--shut UP!! Is there really? We live close enough to the mid-Atlantic states that I'm certain my husband will want to make a pilgrimage to a WAWA store. Now to decide if I'll tell him. . .
@mexgirl--yup, TIE ONE ON is a slightly archaic expression but I'm sure anyone here would understand what you meant if you led them into a bar saying "C'mon, pal, let's TIE ONE ON."

william e emba 10:07 AM  

The WAWA I know and love is a chain of convenience stores centered around Eastern Pennsylvania. It's named after WAWA, Pennsylvania, site of the original WAWA Dairy Farms corporate headquarters. And of course, that name comes from an Indian word for "goose".

The proctor at the Princeton Graduate College once stepped out of his office for a short break during move-in week. He left a sign on the door "GONE TO WAWA BE RIGHT BACK", referring to the big WAWA store across the golf course. At least one new graduate student, obviously arrived from a great distance, thought he was referring to the bathroom.

So somebody named -good wrote the BAD song? Learn something new every day!

Alex R(BI) 10:24 AM  

Since WAWA seems to be the only thing worth discussing today, I would like to raise the nit re 57D that Sac Flies MAY result in an RBI, not that they do. Moving a man from second to third, no outs, with a fly ball constitutes a sac fly, no RBI. Nice that you positioned it right under me though.

Jonah 10:33 AM  

Hey guys!

Glad (most of you) liked the puzzle.

I'm happy to see that at least somebody fell for the KOUFAX trap. Those of you who didn't, why can't you be more impetuous solvers?

I think it's funny how different people like different words. @tptsteve thought RESECT was a great word, whereas I thought it was one of the worst words in the puzzle.

As to the theme, when I came up with it Vic and I both thought it had probably been done before - but we couldn't find it in the database. So we went ahead and made it. We realized maybe it hadn't been done before because it wasn't easy to do well... Thus, we ended up with two TV shows that I (an 18 year old) had never heard of.

As for @Meg's comment about there being "no weird clues," you can thank Will for that. Although I thought he took out some of the more fun one's, such as "Attends to one's unibrow, perhaps." It ended up being 60-70% clues I wrote, so I'm still happy. I'm just happy to see my puzzle in print.

I'll be back later if anybody has more questions. Now it's time for class!

Thanks again!

Two Ponies 10:35 AM  

Welcome back fikink!
I'm with you Ruth on Wawa, Ontario. I loved the huge goose statue there.
Didn't know how to spell Koufax so I just waited for some crosses. Never heard of Alomar. I suppose "sac fly" is short for sacrifice?
Funny story w.e. elba.
OK Tuesday. Adding papyrus and fanning with a palm frond to
1A and 9D makes a mini-theme.
Any puzzle without your random Roman numeral makes me happy.

Two Ponies 10:39 AM  

Oops, I meant w.e. emba. Sorry.
Thanks for dropping by Jonah!

pednsg 10:45 AM  

Easy and fun- great for Tuesday. FALL HARVEST was fine for me- a lot of kids with whom I work are not permitted to celebrate Halloween at school (because of Satan and what not) and they therefore have a Fall Harvest celebration at their school instead (this PC stuff is seriously a bummer- how can you NOT have Halloween?).

Never watched Falcon Crest, but does anyone else remember Fresno, a mini-series spoof about a California family's raisin empire? It starred Carol Burnett and Charles Grodin, and was wonderful!

@ACME - thanks for trying to find it, and thanks for your suggestion! I think I'll change to CPB when I return from my brief trip!

Martin 10:58 AM  

@Alex R(BI),

"Sacrifice fly" has a precise definition. Unless a runner scores, it's not a sacrifice fly. Read section 10.08(d).

The only sacrifice that doesn't involve scoring is a sacrifice bunt (section 10.08(a-c)). Otherwise it's just a fly out that advances a runner. The official meaning of "sacrifice" is "tactical maneuver for which the batter is rewarded by not charging an at-bat to his statistics."

Susan 10:59 AM  

Falcon Crest? Awesome! And to think that as hot as he is, Lorenzo Lamas is the lesser of the Lamases... Nice that it's right above "erotica"!

I used to live across the street from a WaWa, as does everyone who lives in Philadelphia. I miss it. We have nothing as good here.

@tptsteve, I think "in a pet" is just old-fashioned, not regional, but I could be wrong.

@Jonah, I liked "resect," too. It reminded me of MASH.

darkman 11:02 AM  

KOUFAX and EXCISE were cured by mon AMIE--love them women.

WAWA is also the comical last name of a certain female tv journalist (first name Babwa). Also babyspeak for water.

Crosscan 11:04 AM  

I've never been to WAWA(or ILOILOILOILO), but I've been to California.

Very nice debut, Jonah!

foodie 11:15 AM  

I really liked this puzzle. Like Joho, I did it last night and it evoked a whole scene (I guess her way is contagious!). For me, it had a sort "Thousand and One Night" vibe-- a Middle Eastern setting in CAIRO, EGYPT, laced with plenty of alcohol and a touch of kinky sex. Our hero, FEZ askew, TIES ONE ON with wine from CASKS and CARAFES, not to mention the ALES and the RUMS! Then there's that touch of BAD EROTICA with ELBOWS and WET TOES. Adding to the FAIRY DUST atmosphere are the birds! A GOOSE, a ROOST, a FALCON and who knows what else hiding in those NESTS. (For some reason, birds are a big deal in Thousand and One Night tales...)

Welcome back @fikink! I was wondering where you were. I must have missed the back story as I was gone for a while too. It's great to see that lovely tomato!

Geezer 11:23 AM  

WAH WAH expresses great appreciation in Hindi. Closest translation might be FAB, or I LOVE IT.

RESECT fell into place easily as I used to do a lot of that years ago.

I was clueless as to the theme until I read REX's explanation. WAH WAH

Geezer 11:23 AM  

WAH WAH expresses great appreciation in Hindi. Closest translation might be FAB, or I LOVE IT.

RESECT fell into place easily as I used to do a lot of that years ago.

I was clueless as to the theme until I read REX's explanation. WAH WAH

I'm no doctor... 11:34 AM  

Hey all of you medical people
Doesn't resect mean to put something back together?
I like the stories you guys piece together from the puzzles.

Colin 11:40 AM  

Nice puzzle as a whole. The only complaint is 31A: cuts with light (lases) is poorly clued. Lasing doesn't refer to the application of laser light, as suggested here. "To lase" is an intransitive verb meaning that something emits laser light, i.e. a laser lases as opposed to a non-functioning laser that only fluoresces. Perhaps I'm overly sensitive, since I work with these contraptions more than I'd care to.

Ulrich 11:40 AM  

I really liked the puzzle after I got to the hint at 56A--perfect Tuesday for me (let's not quibble over FALL HARVEST) --thx Jonah and Judge!

@fikink: Welcome back from me, too--glad about the FIL news

Ruth 11:54 AM  

@I'm no doctor--I'm yes doctor, and resect means to remove or cut out (from Latin resecare acc. to my med dictionary, "to trim or prune", funny to apply that term to bowel and the like! "We're just going to prune your left colon back a bit")

douggarr 12:06 PM  

Easy Tues. Did anyone notice that BREAKFAST can be made from FATHERKNOWSBEST? Actually you need one more A but who's counting?

Anonymous 12:23 PM  

not to harp on the WAWA clue too much but as a guitarist and xword novice it really gave me pause where otherwise I would have made crosses with no problem. does this happen often?

Ben 12:27 PM  

I also loved the puzzle and also thought that WAWA was a flat out error.

I worked in the music technology business for a decade. I have NEVER seen anyone write it was WAWA. I left it blank for ages cause it could never be WAWA, could it? Shortz would never do that.

I've gone online and cannot find a single instance of a WAWA pedal. What gives? Doesn't anyone edit these?

- Ben

Rex Parker 12:29 PM  

@pednsg,

I am from Fresno. So, yes, I remember "Fresno." I remember their filming "Fresno" around town. I do not remember it fondly. "Hey, we're making this miniseries about what a shithole your town is ... it'll be great!"

I was probably too young to appreciate it, actually.

tptsteve 12:32 PM  

@I'm no doctor and @ruth
RESECT, as I know it, can, but need not be, a complete removal of something.
When my son was born, my wife and I made a video for my father, (a retired doc), 'how to resect a dirty diaper,' complete with ponchos, tongs and other equipment. (We were hoping for complete removal with this teaching tool)

Martin 12:33 PM  

@Ben,

With "wa-wa," as with other words, Will Shortz relies on dictionaries.

When looking online, I recommend google.

hazel 1:01 PM  

good to have you back @fikink!

cool puzzle too. lots of nice little Tuesday quirks.

I guess CAIRO made ALOMAR a no-brainer for me - although I'm really more familiar with his hot-headed brother (who has been an all star 12 times).

Anybody remember when he spit on the umpire? Gross.

joho 1:05 PM  

@Foodie ... good one! Love your exotic, erotic scene!

Rex Parker 1:07 PM  

ROBERTO did the spitting.

Rex Parker 1:07 PM  

Oh, I see you implied that. Sorry. My bad.

Crosscan 1:14 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Crosscan 1:16 PM  

I went to many Toronto Blue Jay games with Roberto ALOMAR (pre-spit) and he was a great second baseman.

[Before the grammar police arrives -No I didn't go to the games with him...]

1:14 PM

Anonymous 1:18 PM  

I do remember "Fresno"! Very funny, but with Carol Burnett, it would be hard not to be.
Thought this went down fast and smooth. A Tuesday puzzle for sure.
And yes, a sac fly doesn't HAVE to drive in a run, but since sac is short for sacrifice, RBI was the only logical choice for an answer.

bluebell 1:43 PM  

I started to write Octoberfest, but saw the Llama clue and knew it was wrong. A great coincidence that both it and fall harvest work in the space.

I badly wanted the Christmas light to be in the east, and there already was a use of that word, so it took me a while to sort that section out.

I liked Rod in a hen house. A great clue.

Thanks for the story on WaWa. I learn many things from this blog.

Catherine 1:47 PM  

For once I get to comment here! Discovered that the business school provides free copies of the NYT and decided to take advantage. I really liked the puzzle today and thought the fill was fun, although I know nothing of baseball so the 2D was impossible. Jonah, I would have liked your clue for tweezes better, personally. Theme answers other than FALCON CREST were easy to get and BREAKFAST came without crosses.

Thanks for the blog, Rex, and for the commentary everyone else.

SueRohr 1:51 PM  

This was very easy for me, although I didn't understand the theme until I saw it here. Clever!
I'm surprised nobody commented on "Father Knows Best." I have many fond memories of watching that show as a child, back when the world was a simpler place and father really did know best. Also, there's a Wawa right down the street from me in Delaware, and I'm so used to going there that I forget that the name sounds funny. Hey, we have a big chain of "Happy Harry's Drugstores" in Delaware and I never realized that that was funny till I said the name to someone from out of state!
Anyway, an easy fun puzzle. I hope tomorrow's is more challenging.

edmcan 2:02 PM  

@Judith-try updating your Java platform from the Java website. Mine updates automatically and just did so today. Perhaps this is why yours keeps quitting. Good luck.

Martin 2:07 PM  

@Anonymous(1:18)

A sac fly does have to drive in a run. See the regs I posted at 10:58.

treedweller 2:31 PM  

I was inspired by ILOILO to look up how close it is to Moapo--oops, I mean, Mt. Apo. It's on a different island, in case anyone else wondered.

I watched a lot of FATHERKNOWSBEST reruns as a kid. I assiduously avoided FALCONCREST, though the name is certainly familiar to me.

I thought this was a nice, smooth puzzle. I liked TWEEZES, though I agree with @Catherine that the original clue was better. I guess it failed the BREAKFAST test.

chefwen 2:33 PM  

Like Meg, I too held off on Koufax due to lack of spelling knowledge. Did not watch FALCON CREST and dropped in FALCON CREEk, had CAIRO in first and when I got to 9D EGYPk, mumbled to self, Oh Yeah, CREST you idjit. That was my only goof.

Took a few minutes of staring after finishing and the theme came to me. Really liked this one.

Welcome back fikink, we missed you.

victor 2:35 PM  

Thanks for the nice comments. Jonah gets ALL the credit on this one.

Vic

Stan 3:05 PM  

Very smooth puzzle with some nifty words and a trickier theme than usual for a Tuesday. Congrats to Jonah and Vic.

@fikink: Glad you're back! It's been too long (I've been a turnip for quite a while now).

Martin is correct about both sac fly (to my surprise) and wa-wa pedal (perfectly legitimate variant of a term that was silly to begin with). I have a Dunlop Crybaby Multi-Wah, by the way.

mac 3:21 PM  

Very nice Tuesday puzzle, with a solid theme and some fun fill.

I had no idea what a sac fly was, of course, but I guessed it was baseball, so I filled in one of the few terms I know. Lucky me, I never heard of Koufax, Jonah, so I let Alomar appear the usual way. Not too easy, since I didn't know Ilo Ilo, and I thought Ottawa was in Quebeck; the NW was my hardest area as well. Good thing all the acrosses were very gettable.

Wawa was no problem: a few years ago I bought a wawa-pedal for guitar-playing son.

Reair, iloilo and tieoneon look weird reading over the finished grid!

imsdave 3:21 PM  

First let me say I liked the puzzle.

Now the minor complaint. Mrs. Dave is not a TV fan, so one of the rules is only one TV in the house. The eighties were a little rough for me due to the resurgence of prime time soap operas. We had to watch:

Falcon's Crest
Dallas
Knot's Landing

EVERYWEEK.

Thankfully, she never got hooked on Dynasty.

Seeing Falcon Crest as a theme answer today brought that all back to me. The horror, the horror.

@fikink - I am so thrilled to see you back!

sanfranman59 3:24 PM  

Midday report of relative difficulty (see my 7/30/2009 post for an explanation of my method):

All solvers (median solve time, average for day of week, ratio, percentile, rating)

Tue 7:37, 8:38, 0.88, 20%, Easy

Top 100 solvers

Tue 4:12, 4:26, 0.95, 40%, Medium

I've been scoring baseball games since I was old enough to say Rocky Colavito and know most of the arcane scoring rules of the game. The fact that a sacrifice fly must result in an RBI is a commonly misunderstood rule even among baseball fans. I've had a surprising number of arguments over the years with knowledgeable fans about this rule. Some of the confusion is undoubtedly rooted in the fact that any bunt that moves a runner to the next base is considered a sacrifice (and so is not an official at-bat), irrespective of whether or not a run scores on the play.

Bill from NJ 3:36 PM  

@fikink-

Welcome home! We missed you and glad all is well with FIL.

andrea pet michaels 4:12 PM  

@Vic
Gracious of you, but I doubt ALL credit goes to Jonah...considering he has copped to not having heard of TWO of the theme answers (and I would guess you had a hand in phrases like INAPET and TIEONEON), you should take credit where credit is due!
(Or blame, for that matter!)

I see a sitcom in your mentoring future: Jonah and The Judge.

Just realized that the PET of INAPET prob is related to the PET of PET PEEVE...or does it mean "favorite" complaint? It must be tied also to PETulant, no?

I'd look it up, but I have @Martin for that!

And as my friend David from mid-California says...FresYES!

And as the adults on "Peanuts" say "Wah Wah Wah"

And as the Phillipino (Philippino?) Mork says, "ilo ilo"

Clark 4:55 PM  

WAWA reminded me of King Tut's Wah Wah Hut in the East Village (NYC) back in the day.

@Colin, methinks the language has overtaken you. The transitive sense of ‘lase’ shows up in a lot of dictionaries.

Sfingi 5:45 PM  

"Hi Ho Steverino," said Gordon Hathaway (Louie Nye), a man on the street.

I had "Alomax" for ALOMAR. He's sports, so I don't know him. Guess I thought "exotica" was ok. Didn't know what a sac fly was, AGAIN. Thought it was some sort of bug. Didn't know the a in Arod til ALEX just happened. I do know Koufax as about the only Jew in sports, but held off, like @Meg, because I always hold off in sports clues. Sports is a real handicap, still. Even though it was easy enough, I'm grumpy over too much sports. Can't convince people to stay home and play Scrabble. When people start talking sports, I tell them to stop talking dirty.
@Sanfranman - thanks for telling what sac is from.
@Mac - how do you GUESS sac is a bseball term? Montreal and Quebec City are in Quebec. European style as opposed to Toronto that is very 5th Ave. But, many people will snub you if you don't speak French or Italian. I go with sonster or hubster.

Likewise, ILOILO just happened. What is ENL?

@Andrea - Filipino/Filipina, even though the country is THE Philippines. That's the kind of goofy info I have in the brain section set aside for sports. My husband got on FaceBook and found some cousins in Sicily. His surname is also used in Cuba and the Philippines, and he started getting "offers" from the Filipinas. He told them to meet him in Sicily.

@Kerfuffle - would love to see what those 25 little graphies look like, all together.

@Emba - never heard of Wawa stores. Did notice on my recent bad trip throgh PA that fireworks are sold everywhere. Are they real fireworks, or just sparklers?

@Stan -funny, you've been a turnip for some time now!

To go grumpy again - some of you don't know the difference between possessive and plural and the use of the apostrophe. Harumpf.
(Signed) Old Fartstress.

Elaine 6:11 PM  

@Jonah/Vic
So, was this an All-Arkansas puzzle? Things are looking up!

Jonah, Sfingi has already tweaked you on the mis-used apostrophe. (Hmm- were you headed to English Composition class?)

I agree on the Unibrow clue-- got a chuckle out of that one.

I especially like that you planned the Koufax trap! (I prefer to have two equally attractive possibles for multiple answers, to make the puzzle challenging.) In this case, I think I was just on the wavelength OR I just had enough letters in place to steer me away from the sneaky snare.

We're going to forgive you this time, but do watch out on the references to shows that were on before you were born. Some of us remember when "Gunsmoke" was a RADIO show, not a TV series.

See you again, I hope!
Elaine in Arkansas

PIX 7:07 PM  

Colon RESECTion or liver RESECTion are very common medical terms; if you are removing only a part of the colon or liver than it's a "partial resection".

Am i the only one that did not like "exobiology?" Certainly a valid word but just seems like better ways to clue "exo".

sanfranman59 7:17 PM  

@Elaine ... I meant to respond to your comment about the number of times Koufax was an all-star in my earlier message, but forgot. An interesting aspect of Koufax's Hall of Fame career is that he was really only a standout star for half of his 12 seasons in the major leagues. As a result, he made only seven all-star teams and two of those were in the same season (they played two all-star games each season from 1959 through 1962). He was mediocre at best for his first six seasons (1955 through 1960). Then the light turned on in 1961 and he became the most dominant pitcher in the game from 1962 through 1966, winning three unanimous Cy Young Awards (at a time when only one award was given for both leagues) and one National League MVP along the way. He retired at the age of 30, partly because he was weary of the spotlight and partly because his arm had suffered enough abuse.

No doubt more than you really wanted to know, but when you get me started talking baseball ...

Charles Bogle 8:34 PM  

Took me forever to get the time..testy Tuesday but satisfying. Took me some time to figure out what SOOTH is; now I think it's a brilliant clue/answer...but like retired_chemist LASES disappoints

Meg 9:19 PM  

@PIX: I understood the clue "prefix with biology" to mean a prefix used with biological terms, like "exoskeleton", and not necessarily a prefix used with the word "biology".

mac 9:30 PM  

@Meg: that's what I understood as well.

Someone complained about a quasi-contemporary term, and said it would have been better to use "chillex". I just heard that on NCIS for the very first time!
Any idea which puzzle that was?

retired_chemist 9:31 PM  

@ Meg - I think it meant specifically EXObiology, which means the study of the potential for life in places in the universe other than Earth. Perfectly good clue IMO.

Meg 9:40 PM  

@ Ret Chem:

I've never heard of EXOBIOLOGY! Great word!

@Mac:

Not Chillax? A combo of chill (out) and relax?

mac 9:44 PM  

@Meg: I'm sure you are right.... Ugly word!

sanfranman59 10:07 PM  

This week's relative difficulty ratings. See my 7/30/2009 post for an explanation. In a nutshell, the higher the ratio, the higher this week's median solve time is relative to the average for the corresponding day of the week.

All solvers (this week's median solve time, average for day of week, ratio, percentile, rating)

Mon 7:41, 6:57, 1.11, 77%, Medium-Challenging
Tue 7:43, 8:38, 0.89, 23%, Easy-Medium

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:48, 3:41, 1.03, 67%, Medium-Challenging
Tue 4:06, 4:26, 0.93, 29%, Easy-Medium

One of the easier Tuesdays in the 27 weeks I've been tracking online solve times. It was the 4th fastest median solve time for all solvers and the 3rd fastest for the top 100 solvers.

victor 11:03 PM  

Elaine, Jonah is from Los Angeles and is currently a freshman at Brown Univ. in Providence RI. If you have not googled "Six Rube Goldberg Machines" and watched the 2:55 youtube video produced by Jonah and his high school companion, you should.

Vic

darkman 12:11 AM  

andrea pet michaels: INAPET PET and 'pet peeve' pet may be related, though the first refers to a snit and the second to a cherished irritation. 'Petulant', meaning 'quick to take offense' comes from the French 'pẻtulant', meaning 'making slight attacks upon'.

darkman 12:12 AM  

andrea pet: Come to think of it, 'pet' could be backformed from 'petulant'.

foodie 1:06 AM  

@victor, thank you and Jonah for a fun puzzle and for the suggestion to watch the Six Rube Goldberg Machines! Very ingenious! It brought to mind an old Honda Accord ad of the same type. It's on YouTube- "Honda- When things just work".

And I had great fun watching your "necessary legal education" video and entertainment. Miss Congeniality indeed!

Anonymous 1:07 PM  

Josh White was great -- remember my parents having a record of his when I was 10 or so years old.

Waterloo Station was great too -- maybe Rex Parker needs to do a bit more travelling.

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