Quechua speaker / WED 6-30-10 / Mendeleev's tabulation / Pigeonholed in moviedom / Singer of Casta diva aria / 1943 penny material

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Constructor: Kristian House

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: Doing stuff to one-named singers — common phrases are clued as actions performed on one-named singers

Word of the Day: Quechua (22D: Quechua speaker => INCA) —

Quechua is a Native American language family spoken primarily in the Andes of South America, derived from an original common ancestor language, Proto-Quechua. It is the most widely spoken language family of the indigenous peoples of the Americas, with a total of probably some 6 to 8 million speakers (estimates vary widely). Some speakers of Quechua also call it 'runa simi' (or regional variants thereof), literally 'people speech', although 'runa' here has the more specific sense of indigenous Andean people.
• • •

Well that was easy. Mid-4s on paper, a good 10-15 seconds faster than yesterday's puzzle. Started writing with 1A: Harry James's "___ the Craziest Dream" ("I HAD") and never really stopped — though I hesitated a few times toward the end. Finished up in the W, where I didn't know (i.e. didn't remember) ERIC Carle (43D: Children's author Carle) and didn't know IRINA (figured it had to be ELENA) (27D: "Three Sisters" sister), and couldn't remember (at first) why the hell Mendeleev was important (38D: Mendeleev's tabulation=> ELEMENTS). Only other sticky clue in the whole grid for me was the one on NORMA — and that's opera, so no shocker there (31D: Singer of the "Casta diva" aria). I wonder if this puzzle is going to skew easy for young(er) people and tough(er) for older people. All the one-named singers whose names are being punned on have a post-1989 fame (chronological order of fame, by my internal clock, goes HAMMER (ca. '89), SEAL (ca. '91), JEWEL (mid-90s?), and PINK (2000s). Notice how my dates get vaguer the farther I get away from college. Individual years were clearly delineated before I graduated college. Afterward, less so. By the 2000s, everything becomes a big blur, punctuated by major life events / national trauma.

["I HAD a dream, I had an awesome dream ..."; warning, if you are scared of clowns, Do Not Play]

Theme answers:
  • 17A: Conk the "You Were Meant for Me" singer? (CROWN JEWEL)

  • 10D: Protect the "Kiss From a Rose" singer from the cops? (HARBOR SEAL)

  • 28D: Amuse the "Get the Party Started" singer? (TICKLE PINK)

  • 62A: Scratch the "2 Legit 2 Quit" rapper? (CLAW HAMMER)

So ... I liked this puzzle a lot. Clever theme, nicely executed. Good fill. Solid. Does Not look like a (mere) 74-worder. Fill seems overwhelmingly short (mostly 4s and 5s). But there are four cheater squares (NW/SE and N/S), and then a couple of long answers paralleling theme answers in the NE and SW, so I guess that explains how the grid can look and feel 76/78 but really be 74. That distinction may seem minor, but it's not. 78s are easy to construct/fill, 76s a bit tougher, 74s tougher still. You'll rarely see themed puzzles at 72, and almost never lower.

  • 39A: 1943 penny material (STEEL) — I did not know that. Just that one year? Was it a war-time thing? Yes! Acc. to wikipedia: "The 1943 steel cent, also known as a steelie, was a variety of the U.S. one-cent coin which was struck in steel due to wartime shortages of copper."
  • 53A: Pigeonholed, in moviedom (TYPECAST) — great answer. "Moviedom" is a terrible word, but "Pigeonholed" is wonderful, so it evens out.
  • 57A: Site of a 1976 South African uprising (SOWETO) — Little bits of South African history being dispensed between football matches all month long on ESPN and ABC. Enjoying watching matches, but was reminded again today (uh, yesterday) how deeply unsatisfying it is to see a match decided by penalty kicks. Mark of a non-real sport (sorry, hockey).
  • 4D: White Label Scotch maker (DEWAR'S) — We have this bottle of something called Yukon Jack in our liquor cabinet, which I think I bought believing it was whiskey. It isn't. It's some kind of liqueur that you drink only if you are a desperate lonely cold Canadian lumberjack. Still, it'll get drunk.
  • 22D: Quechua speaker (INCA) – I know this as a contemporary language of South America. Didn't know INCAs spoke it. Only reason I know the language name at all is because my ex-girlfriend studied with Sabine MacCormack, who wrote "Religion in the Andes," among many other books.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]


Steve J 12:14 AM  

I've had few things as vile as Yukon Jack. Save it for a party when guests won't leave. Tell them all you have left to drink is a bottle of Yukon Jack. Watch the get out of there as quickly as possible.

Liked this one overall. Really nice theme. I, too, wonder if those will be as easy to pick up for older puzzlers. While none of the artists is obscure, none of them is on the level of huge stars like U2, Michael Jackson, etc.

There were a couple unsavory bits, though. Really disliked the ASSOC EERO AMT stack on the east coast, and the IRINA CRI cross struck me as pushing the boundaries of fairness on a Wednesday puzzle.

The longer non-theme fill was really nice. Quite enjoyable overall.

syndy 12:15 AM  

A friend insisted that Yukon Jack is the sovereign remedy for a head cold so I bought a bottle but I'd rather have the cold! very easy puzzle even if I could not have told you who sang any of the mentioned songs my captha and i kid you not is REXONISS (high horse?)

PurpleGuy 12:35 AM  

I enjoyed this puzzle, even if I didn't know the artists' names. The expressions are commonplace and inferable. Yes, I of the older group, but still not hard. One of my faster Wednesday puzzles.
Like Rex, I also started at 1A. I can hear Frank Sinatra on "I HAD the craziest dream last night." Great recording.
Speaking of great recordings, Maria Callas really knocks it out of the park with "Casta Diva" from NORMA. That was a definite gimme for me, and of course I immediately played it.
I had CROWN_ for a bit and my first thought was CROWN Royal. Alcohol and I go way back !
I immediately thought of @Tinbeni with 4D DEWARS.
I am toasting you, my friend, as I write this. My 102 yr. old mom is toasting you with Johnny Walker Green !
Just reading the clue for 37A and filling in LICE made my scalp crawl. Memories of an infestation going through my classroom when I taught 1st and 2nd grade.
Only writeover was JOYful for JOYOUS. PITSTOPS corrected me quickly enough. I was going to say "straightened me out'" but Jesser knows why that is anathema to me.
Wonderful solve, Kristian House. Great construction.

@Rex, thanks for the videos of all the artists.

Happy Wednesday, Hump Day, all !!!!


foodie 12:58 AM  

I too found it easy even though I am in the oldster category. I did know all these singers, but I'm terrible at linking song names to singers, so I didn't even try until they practically revealed themselves. And still, it was one of the easiest Wednesdays ever.

I loved seeing QUECHUA in the grid. I used to be part of a little group here at our university called "The language and culture club". We met once a month at someone's house, drank wine, ate cheese and other goodies and talked about, well language and culture, which as it turns out includes everything... I was the odd person out, as this was not my area of specialty. But everyone else thought about language and culture for a living. One of them was a linguistic anthropologist who specialized in Quechua language and culture, including poetry. I was dismayed at my own ignorance of this rich culture and really enjoyed learning about it, its long history and the social conflicts between various ethnic groups in the Andes. Fascinating.

PurpleGuy 1:14 AM  

@foodie- your "language and culture club" sure sounds like it would have been fun as well as informative. The wine would certainly help !
Certainly more appealing to me than the ubiquitous book club. The ones I've been with have been overly forced and pedantic.
If we were closer, we could start the club again !


chefwen 1:44 AM  

And the week continues to be fun!

Went to a Seal concert in San Diego, couldn't see a thing as I am vertically challenged, so my big and burly friend took me and his wife by the hand and bullied us up to the front of the stage, thought I was going to swoon. That man can turn me into jello. Be still my heart!

Great puzzle, my only write over was at 27D IReNA before IRINA, and LICE gave me the creeps too. Yuck!

unfrait - not sceered

patrick_nyc 2:57 AM  

@Rex, I swear you're going to inflict another "national trauma" with your posting of that Kids Incoporated video. Weird kid, weird clown, weird kid-clown interactions. Seriously traumatic!

I liked the fresh cluing on DALLAS, STEIN, ADLIBBED, TADA, DAMNS, and (my favorite) ORSO.

andrea adlibbed michaels 5:48 AM  

Love the theme, but one LICE (ick) to pick...isn't the expression TICKLEd PINK? That threw me off rhythmwise, but still cool!
(Plus the fact that it's an adjective, not a noun like the others)

Count this oldie (50) who liked that they are all one-named singers. Cher, Madonna and Prince must have paved the way...and Dion before that?

Oh, and wanted Masha, not IRINA. And I thought those bed things were shammys or chams...SHAM faked me out!

fikink 7:15 AM  

Wow! At every corner I turned, there was a fresh and interesting clue for fresh and interesting fill.

Had no problem getting the singers from the crosses and the puns.

I don't recognize the constructor's name, so I came into this one with no feel for the tenor of the puzzle (a la @foodie's comments yesterday morning), but I sure look forward to seeing it again.

@purple guy, Johnny Walker Green!? Your mom is a lucky lady!

(I am scared of THAT clown!)

Greene 7:21 AM  
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Greene 7:25 AM  

Count me among the fans of this puzzle. I'm not at all certain that it will skew more difficult for older solvers. I'm another who has only the faintest familiarity with the artists and songs used in the theme clues and yet I was able to piece the whole thing together with little difficulty. To me, that's one feature of a well constructed theme puzzle: intimate familiarity with the theme is not necessary for a solve.

Normally, I would find all the long non-theme answers confusing (which answers are the theme answers?), but not so here. I really liked all those 8 letter answers that spiced up the grid: ADLIBBED, TYPECAST, PITSTOPS, NOVELLAS, SNUBNOSE, and ELEMENTS. Truly remarkable.

Excellent puzzle. Thanks, Kristian House! More like this one, please.

Leslie 7:28 AM  

I've never heard of Yukon Jack, and apparently that's a lucky thing.

I knew about the STEEL pennies from my older brother's coin collecting days. Thought 19A, with URSA the answer to "Major in astronomy?" a cute clue for a standard answer. Someone please tell me how the Georgetown athletes pronounce HOYA. Silent H?

Jo 7:30 AM  

Breezed through the top quarter but JOYFUL for JOYOUS threw me for a bit and I never know the names of those Sisters or always spell them wrong, so had IRENA for a while which got me nowhere with the itchy head. Knew none of the names of the singers but puns were easy so all came out fine.
First words in theme answers are all both nouns and verbs, including TICKLE.
Felt more like a Monday than Wednesday.

Jo 7:31 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
joho 8:06 AM  

Is this a debut puzzle for Kristian? Whether it is or not, cute theme, well executed.

We've had three great puzzles this week but perhaps in the wrong order as these was the easiest.

CROWNPRINCE would have worked, too.

@Rex, that clown is creepy!

Parshutr 8:18 AM  

Age 69, unfamiliar with a lot of the names, but did know HAMMER & SEAL. And yet, very easy, although I'd question PITSTOPS as the province of truckers instead of racing drivers...

Parshutr 8:22 AM  

@andrea...I think the first one-name singer would be...wait for it...CARUSO!

Bob Kerfuffle 8:25 AM  

Apparently in common with many, I couldn't hum a tune by any of the named artistes, but found the puzzle easy, and fun.

Agree with Andrea, I did think TICKLE PINK just might get us into an Ice tea/Iced Tea, Do no harm/Did no harm debate, but I'm happy to accept it.

dk 8:34 AM  

60 in 12 days and I knew the singers: whippersnappers!

3 Dog Night (sorry Lori bad old music) used 1A in a song titled Mama old Me Not to Come. I always thought they misspelled the last word.

As a former practicer of the sport of kings I had chin for NAPE... but I was often told I did not have the killer instinct so I went to grad school where I discovered I did.

Used alfalfa mulch on the gardens so it smells like a hay BALER has been through here.

*** (3 Stars) Nice one.

Apropos of nothing: Oddly I completed a diagonal (NW to SE) first.

Lastly, word verification is so cheesed off at my lame attempts at humor at its expense it now shows up late like Argentina (world cup humor).

The Big E 8:39 AM  

A very enjoyable puzzle, I agree.
Seal was one of my favorite artists in the early and mid 90s.
I got thrown off early in filling out the big clues, however, as I don't recall the "get the party started" singer, and just put in "Tickle Elmo." That didn't last long!
Nicely done Kristian.

OldCarFudd 9:00 AM  

I'm old enough to remember steel pennies and not to know any of the singers, and I still found this one smooth and easy. Nice job!

Anonymous 9:07 AM  

I was never afraid of clowns before, but now...I'm absolutely terrified. Why would anyone do that?

jesser 9:13 AM  

LOL @ PurpleGuy. :-)

I loved the puzzle. Put me in the Hater Camp when it comes to Yukon Jack. Vile. But I bet it would kill an infestation of LICE.

Yesterday, that red balloon song was stuck in my head. Today it will be "You Can't Touch This." All of which is to saw that if I *could* CLAW HAMMER, I would happily do so. For completely different reasons, I would happily HARBOR SEAL.

One of my favorite firearms is my little air-weight Smith & Wesson SNUB NOSE 38. I took it out Saturday on the longish Jeep excursion because I ventured very near to the border and you never know when you might crest a hill and interrupt a drug run, and one does not want to bring a knife to a gun fight.

I'm always surprised when DAMNS gets into the NYT. Nice clue this time around. I will not FILA complaint!

And that will be all. Today will be highly worky.

Scras! (Originally, the Seinfeld writers were going for an episode about scrotum bras, but not even Kramer would go for that, so they went with Manseirres) -- jesser

ArtLvr 9:16 AM  

Easy puzzle, even if I didn't know the theme singers. It was just as well he crosses weren't trickier, like KITE a check! Kudos to Kristian...

p.s. Did anyone else think Mendel and genetics before Mendeleev and ELEMENTS?


mitchs 9:20 AM  

For some reason I don't grasp the concept of "cheater" squares. Which squares in this puzzle are cheaters? And, if anyone would be so kind - why?

retired_chemist 9:21 AM  

What Old Car Fudd and others said. Easy for this geezer despite knowing the singers only vaguely. I also remember steel pennies and could have told you the year was 1943.

Nice cluing - solid Wednesday effort.

Despite living 30 miles from Big D, and having watched the show Dallas frequently, I did not get 8D instantly. Was focused on the cleanliness sort of soap.

Ruth 9:22 AM  

Dang LICE!! All I have to do is read/hear that word and my head itches for hours. But, small price to pay for a fun puzzle!
@Andrea, I think someone might say, "well, that'll tickle him pink" (at least in Iowa, we'd say that).

borgis 9:27 AM  

@mitchs - Cheater squares are black squares which don't change the word count. Here, the black square immediately to the right of square 4 is a cheater square. Without it, 1A and 14D could be longer words, but there's no change in the word count.

barelybad web site 9:30 AM  

CHEATER - In terms of grid layout, a cheater square is one (and its corresponding symmetrically opposite counterpart) that could have been a white but was set to black just to make the constructor's job easier, e.g., turning four five-letter words into four four-letter words. Cheater squares are only venial sins, and they are frowned upon more by constructors themselves than by the playing public, 99% of whom don't notice they could have been lights.

mitchs 10:00 AM  

Thanks borgis and barelybad web site! I finally get it.

CaseAceFos 10:02 AM  

Ahhh, peace at last! So much more relaxing being in a Caucus state than it was in Monday's rather Ruckus one!

Tinbeni 10:07 AM  

DEWAR'S Scotch at 4D.

@PurpleGuy and @jesser
And some CROWN(jewel)Royal for you guys.
Then ...
Throw in the 12D, MEAD, an alcoholic beverage made from fermented honey, mix it with some of Rex's Yukon Jack.
And .... It's party time.

Hell, I'm TICKLEd PINK with this puzzle.

10 Miles 10:15 AM  

Shootouts are a ridiculous way to determine a winner in the World Cup. In hockey, the shootout only exists during the regular season. Overtime goals get the wins in the NHL playoffs.

CaseAceFos 10:15 AM  

Yukon Jack palls in comparison to "Klondike Mike"...why you've only to glance at the label of the latter to be laid out cold!

Jim 10:26 AM  

Can't call this one easy as I was stopped cold in the NE/E, surrounding an inability yo get harbor seal (needed only 2 letters, but kept coming back to carbon seal, whatever that is).

Not an insuperable problem by itself, but with relatively opaque clues producing sham, mead, Norma, Eera(!), Dallas (couldn't guess on the 's') and even Scots, since scorns was not immediately forrthcoming.

Everything else fell very easily, but this was a tough corner for a Wednesday

Btw, Yukon Jack is a(The Black Sheep of Canadian) whisky(ies). In fact, a pint (or very nearly) of it was all I needed during those senior year campfires (which is not nearly as white_trashy as it sounds). Haven't touched a drop of it since high school, though

Two Ponies 10:44 AM  

Fun and easy. Nice one Kristian.
Debut puzzle?
Pink was the only singer I didn't know. I did see Jewel live once and her voice was amazing. No studio enhancements needed for her.

Not only is there Dewers for Tinbeni but also IHOP stacks for Rex.

We have a return of the reloading musketeers today.

Be careful out there jesser and take something bigger than a snubnose .38.

@ArtLvr, yes, I was thinking peas and genetics at first too.

@dk, Thanks a lot! Now I have a
3 Dog Night earworm.

Stan 10:50 AM  

Good puzzle -- engaging without being overly tricky or obscure. I will never again use the word 'head-scratching' in a blog post.

One-Named Singers Quiz

Zeke 10:55 AM  

Seriously, you expect soccer players to continue after 2 hours? 2 hours without any rest time for the players? Play gets too sloppy with too much chance for injury. Additionally, as getting a second yellow card for any player carries over to the next match (provided they win), something has to be done to terminate the game at that point.

CaseAceFos 10:57 AM  

Going by the clip of the young lady singing, "Say you, say me" The very last thing a maiden would want is to be SWEPT OFF her feet by some clown!

The Big E 10:59 AM  

How did we get involved with a discussion on the merits of overtime vs. shootouts on a crossword blog?

Tony from Charm City 11:11 AM  

Way easy for a Wednesday, but I liked it. I laughed a bit at 39A. A co-worker and I were discussing old coins/bills earlier today and he asked me if I had any STEEL pennies. I said no, not knowing that there was such a thing. When I scanned the clues, that one caught my eye.

Tinbeni 11:19 AM  

I took your test and failed.
Badly, I got 7 before I gave up. (This puzzle gave me 3. Oh, well.)

Does she get the "Blue" at 103?
I toast her "Green"!!!

@The Big E
That's what happens when you mix the Dewars, Crown, Mead and Yukon Jack. Run '10 Miles' then throw in the ASSOC, which yields the "SOC" part for our name Soccer (association football) not just Football which is used everywhere else.

Sparky 11:27 AM  

Easy today. Iam old but keep up enough to have heard of the singers. The phrases were easy to figure out. Off to a bad start when I filled 2 and 3 down into the across squares. Fixed that. Must commit to memory the sisters in Three Sisters. It has been a good week. Happy day.

The Big E 11:30 AM  

@Stan and @Tinbeni - So embarrassed to admit that I did NOT get "Jewel." That said, I got 12.

And I agree that shootouts shouldn't determine the winner in a World Cup. We need a Golden Goal like in Hockey.

Doug 11:36 AM  

What SHAM that I didn't know that word, or MEAD. I got to the last letter, M, feeling stupid. BTW, I have a roll of uncirculated steel pennies from 1943 -- not worth much but fun to look at -- from my coin collecting days as a youth.

John V 11:37 AM  

Easy -- BUT! I'd have gotten killed by the pop artist references, save for the balance of the puzzle, which really was easy for a Wednesday.

redhed 11:48 AM  

Fun theme with no write overs today! Hooray! As one of the oldies (>50), I had heard of all the singers but only knew Hammer's song. No problem, though as I could get enough of the crosses to fill in the rest. I salute Ms Kristian, as she helped me feel NYT smart today. TADA!

PurpleGuy 11:48 AM  

@Tinbeni- at 103 she'll get whatever she wants !!!
I am planning on surprising with the Blue.
We will toast you again this evening.

word for today:amiumbu- a "sot" singing "Am I Blue?"

3 and out. Have a great day, all. Shanti !!!


shrub5 12:06 PM  

I can qualify for the senior citizen discount in some places -- and I knew all the singers but would be hard pressed to name many of their songs. Best known to me are "U Can't Touch This" by MC HAMMER and "Stupid Girls" and "Get The Party Started" by PINK. The latter song was used in NBA ads several years ago.

SPED through this puzzle without much difficulty. The clue and answer to 48D are identical to one in the LAT puzzle today. Almost in the same spot of the grid!!

The Big E 12:14 PM  

For all you drinkers out there, should interest you to know that the most sold alcohol in the world (at least as of a couple of years ago, I think) is Johnnie Walker Red Label!
I would have guessed Absolut...

Steve J 12:36 PM  

@The Big E: FIFA used a Golden Goal for at least one World Cup. It was dropped. For good reason, in my opinion. While I hate shootouts, the golden goal didn't really work well. For example, the US/Ghana match the other day would have been done in about 2 minutes, based off of one mistake. Most teams did not like it at all, which is why it was scrapped.

I'd rather see teams play it out as well, but Zeke mentioned some of the risks. These guys run miles during a regular game.

If they were to add more extra time (which is the way the game once was; you played till someone won), I would hope they'd do things like add more substitutions.

And on something that has nothing to do with soccer: @PurpleGuy: nice choice for your mom with the JW Green. Best of the Johnnie Walkers, and quite possibly the best blended whisky I've had. Much better than the overpriced JW Blue.

The Big E 1:23 PM  

@Steve J - Is losing a game in the first minute of overtime due to a total collapse in defense (as happened to the US) any different than losing in the brief minutes of injury-time (as happened to Algeria against the US when they lost 1-0 in the 91st minute).
A game has to end at some point, so why not allow a Golden Goal scenario? Of course some people will not be happy (many of them will be supporters of those teams who lose!).

Mel Ott 1:56 PM  

Geezer here. Old enough to have carried STEEL pennies down to the corner store to get some penny candy from a wonderful array of jars on the counter.

Found the puzzle easy but annoying. My 2 least favorite themes are puns and show biz names. Combine the 2 themes and I grumble all the way through. End of rant.

BTW, the logo for this World Cup is wonderful. Thanks for including it.

BocaBoy 2:16 PM  

55D, "Break one's resolution, say" was not a very good clue. I hate when I get the answer but still don't understand what the constructor was trying to say.

PuzzleNut 2:33 PM  

Very easy puzzle. Old enough to not know any of the singers, but that didn't make any difference.
@ArtLvr - I'm with you on genetics.
@Parshutr - I tried to squeeze in restSTOPS and roadSTOPS to no avail. PITSTOPS clearly belong to race car drivers.
My dad was a banker and I spent many hours in my youth combing through $50 bags of pennies, so STEEL was a gimme. Was cleaning house the other day and decided to get rid of those old coin collections. Very disappointed to learn that only one of the pennies I collected was worth more than face value. Figured I might as well save them for another 40 years.

Anonymous 2:51 PM  

I made a resolution to quit smoking.
Alas, I had ONE.
I guess that was a SLIP.

Van55 3:06 PM  

I have no complaints about this puzzle at all.

That said, I never thought of DALLAS as a soap opera. I suppose, on reflection, that it was one, albeit in prime time. Regardless, I was not thrown of, as one can't think of "Miss Ellie" without thinking of DALLAS.

I, too, immediately thought of Tinbeni when I saw DEWARS in the grid. Skal, Tinners!

chefbea 3:34 PM  

Knew Jewel and Seal but none of the others. Still an easy puzzle. Loved the shout out to @Tinbeni. I'll drink to that...with a splash of water

sanfranman59 4:09 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)

Wed 8:44, 11:44, 0.74, 6%, Easy

Top 100 solvers

Wed 4:35, 5:46, 0.80, 8%, Easy

Joe 4:13 PM  

Good puzzle.

Still waiting for Hammer's follow up "2 Lame 4 Fame."

Tinbeni 5:54 PM  

Kristian House, you made a nice puzzle back in February, and I liked the one in the LAT back in August 2009.
Today your NYT gets a "Toast at Sunset."

There is was at 4d, White Label Scotch maker, DEWAR'S.
IMHO the best clue/answer of all time.

Dan Naddor, in the LAT on 5/26/10, also got Dewar's into the puzzle.

Not my brand, but I did purchase a bottle of the Dewar's 12yo then to celebrate that SCOTCH, aka Avatar, made it into a grid.

@Chefbea, @Van55, @PurpleGuy (and his 102yo MOM)
You will also be in the Toast !!!

Yeah, there is an Ear-to-Ear grin on my face.

That Yukon Jack would be perfect for a Hurricane sunset Toast.

Steve J 6:48 PM  

@The Big E: the critical difference is that stoppage/injury time is still part of the regulation 90 minutes. It accounts for time play is completely stopped, ensuring a full 90 minutes are actually played (at least that's how it's supposed to work; practice and theory don't always match). In extra time (overtime), a full period is not played in a golden goal scenario. Frankly, I've never liked sudden death approaches to OT. The way basketball, college football and baseball do it is far preferable, IMO.

Re PITSTOP: while I, too, wanted RESTSTOP to go in there, I think the actual answer is legit. People often colloquially say they're makin a PITSTOP when they're heading off to the loo or getting some snacks on the road. I agree that it's a not the most elegant cluing, but it's still legit.

Sfingi 7:00 PM  

@Greene - I finished despite not knowing most of the new songs. I have heard of the singers. Thus, it was a challenge that granted opportunities, and therefore, balanced, by my lights.

The only thing that bothered me was that the puzzle felt like, and looked like, 3 easyish puzzles connected by 3-4 long words. That must be called something. Eh Rex?

The Sicilian Vincenzo Bellini's Norma is more my style. He was mentioned a few days ago.

(Yesterday, USA Today had the same IOWA clue.)

Whence came the name HOYA to Georgetown? Anyone? I need a hook.

Didn't know what a rabbit punch was. Or why. What do you call the punch to the solar plexus?

1943 (zinc-plated) steel pennies are worth 15-50 cents. A real copper 1943 will not stick to a magnet. Frankly, it's time to retire all pennies. They aren't worth bending over for, or taking as change.

@Tinbeni - at 103 she'll get what she wants if you bring it to her. If she's in a Home. you'll have to slay a few dragons. Keep up the good work with your mom. The Italians need a new toast to replace "Cent'ann'" meaning live to 100. My mother'll be 91 on the fourth.

Oh, and to me a conk is a hairdo created by straightening with lye.

Oya Veya 7:45 PM  

@Sfingi -

"What is a Hoya?"

The University admits that the precise origin of the term "Hoya" is unknown. At some point before 1893, students well-versed in classical languages combined the Greek hoia or hoya, meaning "what" or "such", and the Latin saxa to form Hoya Saxa!, or "What Rocks!" This cheer may either refer to the stalwart defense of the football team, or to the baseball team, which was nicknamed the "Stonewalls", or to the actual stone wall that surrounds the campus.

After World War I, the term "Hoya" was increasingly used on campus, including for the newspaper and the school mascot. In 1920, students began publishing the campus's first sports newspaper under the name The Hoya, after successfully petitioning the Dean of the College to use it instead of the proposed name, The Hilltopper. "Hilltoppers" was also a name sometimes used for the sports teams. By the fall of 1928, the newspaper had taken to referring to the sports teams as the Hoyas. This was influenced by a popular half time show at football games, where the mascot, a dog nicknamed "Hoya," would entertain fans.

Sfingi 8:41 PM  

@Oya Veya - Wow!
Well, I'm glad that at least it's Greek, since I think of Georgetown as a place where they actually teach something.
The Greek will be the hook.

When my son was a little kid he had imaginary "people" and even made up words. One expression was "yeeshing and hoying" which is what Hubster was doing when he had a little fit.
Then, I found out Hoyer is John Updike's middle name.
Now, at the Home, there is a device called a Hoyer for people who are two large or crippled to be put into bed by one human.

In any case, in this family the word Hoya is funny.

Thanx for the history!

Captcha - deconin. Reminds me I have to catch a mouse. Humanely. I then accompany it to the Kentucky Fried Chicken dumpster, a.k.a mousey heaven.

mac 8:57 PM  

Mark of a non-real sport!!??

Thank you Steve J.

I've always found sudden death unfair, think that a full overtime period is better, and then, in a tournament, you have to go to the shootouts. But only in tournaments. Nobody likes shootouts but how long do we want to stay in South Africa?

This was a very easy Wednesday for me, doing it on the train to NY. Couldn't fill in all the boxes, since someone bumped into me and I splashed water all over the paper.... Figured it all out, though.

Didn't like Assoc. much, they had just gotten me used to Assn.

deerfencer 9:42 PM  

Near perfect early-in-the-week puzzle IMO.
Kristian has a great feel for cluing--no overly cute obfuscation here. This puzzle flowed nicely.

Snappy, happy and a pleasure to solve--great job KH!

Stan 9:43 PM  

Re: The quiz I posted.

I got precisely one right. Then, trying to enter a wrong answer (Jewel instead of Sting) hit some key that showed me all the correct answers, invalidating the whole thing. I really doubt I would have gotten as many as seven right.

@mac: Go Netherlands!

Tinbeni 9:46 PM  

Alas, the one with a Mom 102 is Bob, aka @PurpleGuy.
He takes great care of her and shares an evening Toast with her each night. Johnny Walker Green Scotch (sssmmmooooootthh!).

Both of my creators have moved on to the next dimension. (Does that now make me an orphan?)

Jewel, Pink and Seal were the quiz gimmies. But there were what, 20 or 24 songs listed? After Cher, I can't remember the other 3.

Tinbeni 9:55 PM  

When I just checked the list it was28 singers.
Also had, Madonna, Prince & Enya.
Today the singer parts were easy, the Puns were great for the other part.
This was a FUN puzzle (even without the Dewar's).

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 7:11, 6:55, 1.04, 70%, Medium-Challenging
Tue 9:32, 8:49, 1.08, 78%, Medium-Challenging
Wed 8:49, 11:44, 0.75, 6%, Easy

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:50, 3:41, 1.04, 74%, Medium-Challenging
Tue 5:09, 4:31, 1.14, 91%, Challenging
Wed 4:28, 5:46, 0.78, 8%, Easy

These median solve times are typical of a middle of the road Tuesday puzzle and are the 3rd and 4th fastest of the 53 Wednesday puzzles I've tracked for the two groups.

Anonymous 10:20 PM  

Wait, so the Three Stooges *didn't* have a sister named Irina? Must stop trying to do the puzzle right before falling asleep.

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