Hallucinogenic beverage / WED 7-13-11 / Classic Mike Myers SNL sketch / Lacquered metalware / Legendary football coach Amos Alonzo

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Constructor: Joon Pahk

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: COFFEE TALK (59A: Classic Mike Myers "S.N.L." sketch ... or an apt title for this puzzle) — Theme answers are familiar two-word phrases where first word is slang for coffee; all clues are coffee-related "?" clues

Word of the Day: BHANG (10D: Hallucinogenic beverage) —

Bhang (Hindi: [...]) is a preparation from the leaves and flowers (buds) of the female cannabis plant, smoked or consumed as a beverage in the Indian subcontinent. (wikipedia)
• • •

This was odd. A very basic theme (first words all have something in common) that in and of itself isn't that exciting. It's fine, for what it is, but awfully straightforward (the "?" clues give it a little added 'zazz, I suppose). The fill, however is anything but straightforward. It's all over the map, good and bad. Love the BALEFUL BOND GIRL (42D: Portending evil + 42A: Maud Adams, twice), and "I DECLARE" is especially fantastic (52A: Southern belle's cry or surprise). But what the hell is going on in the NE. First of all: BHANG? I was sure that was an error. Nutso, if you've never heard of it (and I hadn't). The fact that it's up there with a couple of rather odd names (ALBAN? STAGG?) (12D: Composer Berg + 13D: Legendeary football coach Amos Alonzo ___) makes that section really stand out from all the others, where the fill is more balanced and familiar. LOU ANN is a spelling I've never seen (30A: Gomer Pyle's girlfriend); her last name was POOVIE—put that in your puzzle and smoke it. DR. LAO is a name I'd really really like to never see again (66A: Tony Randall title role). But then I really like HAJJ (1D: Pilgrimage to Mecca) over YEGG (26D: Burglar who really gets cracking?)—a nice unusual final double-letter pair. So there were highs and lows here. Overall, seems like a decent effort was made to spice up a somewhat lackluster theme concept.

Theme answers:
  • 17A: Large order of morning drinks? (JOE SIXPACK)
  • 23A: Activity for a hyperactive barista? (MUD SLINGING)
  • 47A: Interactive features of starbucks.com? (JAVA APPLETS)
Is it hot where you are? It's hot where I am. I just took my laptop downstairs, where it's a good deal cooler than in my normal upstairs workspace. Could just go work in daughter's room (she's away at camp)—it's the only room in the house with A/C—but we're sleeping in there and if I go in there and start writing and then wife wants to go to sleep I have to decamp once again and who needs the hassle. Anyway, it's hot. Hence this random digression.

Here's a potential theme:
  • Etc. I'm sure there are more possibilities...
OK, the heat is clearly pulling me off task, so I'll move on to Bullets.

  • 10A: They're hooked behind the back (BRAS) — mostly true.
  • 20A: Interim ruling group (JUNTA) — misinterpreted "ruling" as something judges do.

  • 26A: Vegetables whose skins may be cooked and eaten separately (YAMS) — never heard of this. Potato skins, sure. Yam skins? Are those part of some regional cuisine?
  • 8D: Dr Pepper alternative (RC COLA) — these taste nothing alike. May as well make the clue [Sprite alternative] or [Water alternative]. Or [Coffee alternative], for that matter.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


Anonymous 8:00 AM  

Could someone explain 2D? Drop Trou??? Thanks

'I yam what I yam, and that's all I yam!' 8:07 AM  

Jerry Herman - La Cage aux Folles
I am What I am

I am what I am
I am my own special creation.
So come take a look,
Give me the hook or the ovation.
It's my world that I want to take a little pride in,
My world, and it's not a place I have to hide in.
Life's not worth a damn,
'Til you can say, "Hey world, I am what I am."
I am what I am,
I don't want praise, I don't want pity.
I bang my own drum,
Some think it's noise, I think it's pretty.
And so what, if I love each feather and each spangle,
Why not try to see things from a diff'rent angle?
Your life is a sham 'til you can shout out loud
I am what I am!
I am what I am
And what I am needs no excuses.
I deal my own deck
Sometimes the ace, sometimes the deuces.
There's one life, and there's no return and no deposit;
One life, so it's time to open up your closet.
Life's not worth a damn 'til you can say,
"Hey world, I am what I am!"

Z 8:10 AM  

Bong water I've heard of. And I first learned the spelling as HAdJ.

The NE gave me fits despite having STAGG and RABBI and ABBA.

Likewise, the SW. Took forever for JAVAAPPLETS to occur to me. Yikes.

@anon at 8:00 - drop trou is the cheap comedic device of having an actors pants (TROUsers) fall down.

dk 8:13 AM  

@anon, Drop trou (short for trousers) is an expression similar to "let us moon yon scalawags."

Easy puzzle for a Wednesday. No comments to make that Rex has not already penned.

Today is the Birthday of the Hollywood sign.

** (2 Stars) Lacking the USUAL Wednesday GLINT

joho 8:15 AM  

I was happy to get the NE corner as BHANG, ALBAN and STAGG were all new to me.

I was struck by all the double letter combinations in the grid:TT,EE,JJ,CC,BB,BB,NN,NN,EE,GG,AA,PP,FF,FF,EE,EE. Maybe this is a secondary DAILY DOUBLE carry over theme from yesterday?

For some reason I just love JIFFY!

Thanks, Double (00) Agent, J00n!

Anonymous 8:17 AM  

Thank you Z and dk. It seems I have had sheltered life.

SethG 8:21 AM  

I liked the theme a lot more than you did, and disliked the NE just as much as you did.

Matthew G. 8:21 AM  

Like Anonymous@8:00, I had never heard the expression "Drop TROU" before. Google reveals that it's a colloquialism for "drop one's trousers." Okaaaaaay ... obscure idiom and doesn't pass the breakfast test either. I'm a fan of Joon's work but that one's just weird. Anyhow, that one clue made the NW the only trouble spot in this puzzle for me, especially because I tried POST before PAST and thus had trouble seeing AREA.

The rest of the puzzle was very easy. Liked the theme. I had never heard of either BHANG or YEGG before, but barely noticed them with the crosses. Would have had great trouble with DR LAO except that we just saw it within the last couple of weeks. Recently saw ALBAN Berg's "Wozzeck" at the Met, so you know ... no big whoop.

Z 8:24 AM  

I love Jiffy, too.

MaryBR 8:25 AM  

The NE corner made me stabby. Didn't know BHANG, ALBAN or STAGG and just couldn't come up with HALT with only the a from crosses. DNF. On a Wednesday! Mortifying.

Agree with Rex that RC COLA better clued as Pepsi competitor or the like. Dr. Pepper competitor would be Mr Pibb, luckily I already had crosses in when I saw the clue so dropped in RC COLA right away regardless.

Lastly, while I suppose juntas are often interim ruling groups, I thought this was cluing was a little off.

David L 8:29 AM  

I agree that I'd like to see DRLAO banished -- and can YEGG be sent away too? That's a word that would have died a natural death a long time ago were it not for crosswords.

This seemed like an awkward puzzle to me but it ended up as an average Weds time, maybe a little faster. Helped that I knew ALBAN and STAGG -- a football coach who is was accidentally memorialized in connection with nuclear power. Stagg Fieldhouse is where Fermi made the first self-sustaining nuclear pile.

Not sure why JUNTA is clued as 'interim.' It generally means a military ruling group. Greece was led by a junta for seven years, pre-democracy, which makes it less interim than, say, the Carter administration...

evil doug 8:36 AM  

"Pantsing" and "depantsing" are synonyms, and require more than one participant. One does not pants oneself.

"Dropping trou", on the other hand, is a solo activity. It is commonly found on school bus field trips just prior to the "pressed ham" maneuver.


retired_chemist 8:38 AM  

I enjoyed it, aforementioned warts and all. Medium here.

Because ALBAN, STAGG, and RABBI were gimmes, BHANG fell right in.

Agree JUNTAs may or may not be interim.

My southern belle said DEARIE ME at first.

And my races were at ASCOT. Is Epcot Center a combination of EPSOM and ASCOT? Just asking....

Thanks, Joon.

jesser 8:46 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
jesser 8:52 AM  

I don't time myself, but I don't think it was appreciably slower than most Wednesdays. Thank the Crossword Gods for HALT and ABBA, or the NE corner would have eaten me alive. BHANG? Really?

Ugliest area of the grid was northern Cali, where I confidently entered poweRnaP at 31A and then had to undo just a whale of a lot of resulting errors.

I have never before (that I can remember) seen the double-J spelling of HAJJ. It's always been HAdJ, but dOE SIX PACK wasn't working for me, so my inner Dr. Phil phixed it.

Happy Hump Day to everyone in Rexville!

Tobias Duncan 9:01 AM  

Had ROSINBAr and STARg. I have only seen rosin in cake form and Starg or Star-G seemed just as footbally as anything else.
Drop trou has always seemed like a vaguely fratboyish thing to say, have heard it plenty though.

Anyone got a recipe for yamskins ?

evil doug 9:07 AM  

When I hear "jiffy", I think Jiffy Park:


George: "Excuse me...huh... I think I made a big mistake. I'd like my deposit back please."

Jiffy Park attendant: "Whats the problem"

George: "You got hookers turning tricks in my car. How's that for starters."

Attendant: "Haaan! That is all hearsay."

George: "Allright, very good I'd like my car and my deposit back please"

Attendant: "Can't do it'

George: "Whadday'mean.?"

Attendant: "If you read the agreement you signed the deposit is not refundable."

George: "Well does it say anywhere in the contract about my car being used as a whorehouse? 'Cause I don't remember reading that clause either.."

Attendant: "What can I tell you buddy. Take it up with Consumer Affairs."

George:. "All right , just give me my car and let me get the hell out of here."

Attendant: "Well that's going to be a problem"

George: "Why?"

Attendant: "It's all the way in the back. Can't get it out for a couple of days."

George: "What are you talking about.. I WANT MY CAR!!"

Attendant: "We ask that you please bear with us."

George: "Bear with you! This is a parking lot PEOPLE ARE SUPPOSED TO BE ABLE TO GET THEIR CARS!!!"

Attendant: "Ideally.."

thursdaysd 9:11 AM  

I thought at one point this would be a DNF, but I made it through with some guesses and help from crosses. I was another with HAdJ, and I had oh my LoRd before the much better IDECLARE.

Loved the clues for FONT, VENAL, TEEN and SKEW but knew none of those people in the NE and thought Maud Adams had something to do with the Golden Girls. Didn't need the dropped TROU image, and the clue for BRAS is dead wrong - mine do up at the front, and have for years. Decades, even. Was a big help when I broke my wrist.

@chefbea - I emailed you last night.

LookUpGuy 9:16 AM  

Chicken or Egg?

1.Alternative spelling of hajj.


syn hadj

[various on line dictionaries]

Glimmerglass 9:20 AM  

I have to sat I was a little surprised to see DROP TROU. Takes me back to my youth, when drop trou would not have appeared in a NYT puzzle.

JaxInL.A. 9:27 AM  

I just won a Scrabble game in part because of judicious placement of HAdJ across triple letter/triple word squares that gave me 102 points for a single word.  

When I filled in 1A: HTTP and 20A: JUNTA, I thought "you know, TROU would fit for 2D: Drop ____. But this isn't The Onion puzzle and Will wouldn't use that clue." I didn't fill it in until I had no choice.  Unexpected.  But I LOVE Joon's puzzles for that very reason. @joho's double-letter observation makes me like it even more.

While I agree with Rex about that BHANG ALBAN STAGG NE corner being rough, I got it ok. The Mid-Atlantic, however, kicked me all over the place. I didn't remember Maud Adams' roles though I'm a Bond movie fan.  Like most, I prefer the non-Roger Moore flix, so I'm giving myself a pass on that one.  I read "Hard up" as "Harden" and popped in eNNure.  Then a stupid typo at OrtO kept most of that pocket from working for waaaay too long.

Love the bonus theme suggestion, Rex. And all those Bang videos. I guess you have our So Cal heat as it's been unseasonably cool here in the home of the Hollywood sign (thanks, @dk).  

Follow-up appt at the hospital today. Ugh. 

chefbea 9:33 AM  

Tough puzzle what with bhang etc. but got through it while drinking my second cuppa joe, mud, java whatever.

I love yams but never eat the skins - too tough - and no, I do not have a recipe for them

Anonymous 9:34 AM  


As for RC COLA and DR PEPPER, you are absolutely right if you live in the NE or the Midwest. As a boy I spent many summer months in a Kentucky river town and those two soft drinks were the choice. But that seems a little parochial these days and a little long ago. However, I suspect the clue still rings more true in the South than in the North.

archaeoprof 9:40 AM  

Worked hard, and eventually got it.

Tried "shed" before MOLT and "ascot" before EPSOM.

All in all, I liked it.

PS: the DOME of the Rock is a remarkable structure.

mac 9:56 AM  

Loved this puzzle, it was sort of crisp.

Never heard of bhang and could not think of bras (had rvs, motorhomes and caravans in mind). Like Joho, I noticed all the double letters.

I wonder if Joon has ever tasted RCCola or just knows it from XWPs, as do I....

jackj 9:58 AM  

Drop TROU? Seems that Will has replaced RHUD with the Urban Dictionary.

A fairly pedestrian theme from Joon but, nevertheless, an interesting solve with sparkly fill saving the day.

IDECLARE just beats out BALEFUL as puzzle highlight.

Bob Kerfuffle 10:03 AM  

Slowed from the start with HADJ/HAJJ and not believing BHANG, but otherwise a nice puzzle.

When I filled in RC COLA, I wondered if joon was playing with the three-consonant start of DR PEPPER.

You high-class types see I AM what I AM and think Jerry Herman; I thought of Popeye.

@archeoprof: EPCOT = Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow :>)

I liked "Feline line" = MEOW!

Lindsay 10:04 AM  

Harumph. Muddled through, but not too happily. Never heard of the skit, so that was lost on me. Hand up for HAdJ. Also RC sOdA, and both of those errors intersect JOE SIX PACK. Dropping TROU and HAZES could have been cross-referenced. Won't comment on the NE because I'm trying to delete it from memory.

Hot here too, but we have an ocean to jump into, which helps.

DBGeezer 10:18 AM  

A few years in India helped me with BHANG as soon as BRAS and HALT gave me the first letters. (not that I ever used it, of course) Whenever I walked into the servants' quarters, the aroma of BHANG was almost enough to give one a BhANG

JC66 10:19 AM  

I wonder if Joon was conflating 26A and 18D to get Popeye's mantra .

quilter1 10:19 AM  

The NE came easily through crosses, it was the NW that was my last fill as I was sure the pilgrimage was HAdJ. But JOE finally convinced me.

Yam skins? Really? A recipe from another land maybe?

Torbach 10:43 AM  

I loved JOESIXPACK so, from there on, really enjoyed the whole puzzle a lot - it's also cool in my office, so I had no non-puzzle-related issues to muddy things up. Nice one, Joon.

RCCOLA was the sponsor of the Mets, way back when they played in SHEA - so, as a kid, I drank a fair amount of the stuff and have the fillings to prove it. Here's an ad that helped me accept it over Coke:


If a comparison must be made, Pepsi is the closest. Rex, what was the cola of Fenway when you were a kid?

For what it's worth, I enjoy a good BHANG-soaked yam skin - but only around the holidays and/or when there's a designated driver.

Two Ponies 10:45 AM  

I agree that this was a strange puzzle. I enjoyed it but the clues had an odd ring to them. I hope Joon drops by with the background story.
Like @JC66 Popeye came to mind.
Drop trou was great.
Never heard of bhang either. If it's only pot flowers that you smoke or drink I wonder if "hallucinogenic" is an over-statement?
I always enjoyed the Coffee Talk sketches.
@ evil doug, thanks for the Seinfeld. Classic.
Yam skins? Really?

oxy 10:46 AM  

Perhaps you could parboil your yams before slicing and frying them like french fries, but instead of salt, try sprinkling with sugar and BAM sweet potato fries!

chefbea 10:47 AM  

@oxy and everyone else


Sparky 10:54 AM  

BRAS, ABBA, and RABBI enabled me to muddle through the NE. Also had ascot first and HAJi. @Bob K. MEOW funny and I thought Popeye too. This is a puzzle where It think the "reveal" unneceaary. Sometimes I believe it would be just as easy to have the fourth theme just be there. Of course then the question mark would be missing. Anyway, easy hump day. I'll be turned to whale smudge tomorrow.

Mel Ott 11:12 AM  

When JUNTAs come into power they seem to invariably describe themselves as interim bodies preparing the country for a transition to democracy. The democracy part tends to get forgotten as the JUNTA becomes less interim and more permanent.

As to the puzzle, I thought Drop TROU was one of its redeeming features.

Scott 11:15 AM  

I'm familiar with BHANG but then again I'm a tournament scrabble player.

I agree on RCCOLA, that's a pretty bad clue. I had MRPIBB in there initially, which at least makes sense since it has a similar flavor to Dr. Pepper.

Was able to get just about everything, but I got stuck at the end in the right center area.

Ace 11:27 AM  

Only your daughter's room has AC? AC isn't standard in NY? My mind is blown. I can't imagine life without AC anymore.

Matthew G. 11:30 AM  

Agree that MR PIBB would much better with the Dr. Pepper clue! RC COLA just didn't make sense.

Excuse me, I'm getting a little verklmept. Talk amongst yourselves, I'll give you a topic -- Dr. Pepper is neither a doctor nor a pepper, discuss.

retired_chemist 11:31 AM  

I remember RC COLA from my youth. I don't see it anymore in supermarkets, but then I do not look for it. There is a burger joint down the road from us that has it in the pop machine. So at least it still exists.

John V 11:37 AM  

Had mistake for Baleful, having GOLD girl rather than BOND girl. Otherwise, finished, medium/hard for me. Blaming the NYC heat. Yeah, that's it.

solasoletta 11:51 AM  

Still confused by "junta." I put it in and erased it about six times--I actually looked it up, and it seems to be more about military government than "interim" government. Oh well.

Rex Parker 11:55 AM  

Recipes for BHANG-soaked YAM skins gratefully accepted. I've got a hankering (thanks a lot, Tony).


Cheech 12:02 PM  

That's the whole problem with you eastern intellectual elites. You got yourselves buds, and what do you do? Enjoy them in the time honored manner, or try to find some ethnic variant to prove how cosmopolitan you all are. By the time you soak your buds and mix them with yams, I'm elbow deep in a bag of Cheetos, laughing my ass off.

Joon 12:07 PM  

you could write a whole book on things i don't know about BRAS, and actually, somebody probably has. i guess this is what you get with a puzzle constructed and edited by men.

two ponies, unlike pretty much every other puzzle i make, this one actually has a background story: it started when i was trying to clue MUGS for another puzzle and came up with {Joe six-pack?}. the editor rejected the clue, of course, but by then the wheels were turning and in no time the rest of this puzzle sprang fully-formed, athena-like, from my aching brain. some parts of it are admittedly pretty haphazard; i blame it on lack of coffee, or maybe the bhang.

afroqwn 12:09 PM  

Can't start my day without finishing the NYT and reading Rex's comments. So pleased that others didn't understand 'drop trou'. I've never heard the expression. Never heard of yam skins either.
The alternative spelling of hajj also had me nonplussed for a while, until I figured the first word was Joe, not Doe.
thanks for all the puzzle comments. It's good to know there are other obsessives out there.

syndy 12:22 PM  

Hand up for DOESIXPACK and alanso amos STARG as well as ASCOT! but all very fixable as is not allways the case with JOON -who frequently kicks my heinie.Are we noticing a seachange at NYtimes puzzleland? DROPTROU indeed!

Kim 12:25 PM  

Mr. Pibb is the appropriate substitute for Dr. Pepper -- except in Texas where there is no substitute for DP.

Anonymous 12:29 PM  

dr pepper and rc cola both use abbreviations that are not followed by a period unlike mr. pibb which has a period after its abbreviation.

quilter1 12:32 PM  

As my mother never, ever bought soda pop I only got to have it from the canteen at summer camp. They had RC Cola, orange and 7up. I always got the RC. We had a limit of .50 per day to spend at the canteen.

foodie 12:38 PM  

I loved it. Well, except for that NE corner. The theme is great. I actually dislike those sentences that emerge from add or a remove a letter. They are wacky (I like Rex's characterization), but rarely funny. There was something very spare and elegant about his theme, and it was all about clues. For the theme, they were great. For BRAS and RC COLA? discuss among yourselves...

I remember when Joon was a regular commenter on this blog, and we all cheered when he published his first puzzle. It's been fun to watch him hone his skill. The newer puzzles are less intimidating more lighthearted and more fun!

As to the HAJJ, HADJ business: the word ends with one letter "J" in Arabic. But it pronunciation really differs between Arabic regions and dialects. The same letter is pronounced softly by some, softer than most English usages, more like Du Jour (say in Damascus), more emphatically by others as in George (say in Iraq), and as a hard G as in Gulag (by Egyptians). So, it's fair to have multiple spellings in English to render it.

Lewis 12:59 PM  


600 1:18 PM  

@Lewis--I love it--especially Robert Doleful!

The puzzle, not so much. My first DNF in months--and by DNF I mean I had to Google to get the NE. The rest of the puzzle was tough but gettable, and I loved all the double letters, but STAGG, and ALBAN did me in. BHANG appeared only after those two were in place.

I don't like DNFs.

CoffeeLvr 1:18 PM  

You would automatically assume I would be a "Lover" of this puzzle, and I am. I also found parts of it to just be odd: YAM skinS? In other words, I wasn't on Joon's wavelength in many places.

I, for one, am glad to see the Grey Lady loosening up!

The clue for FONT was great.

I had a lot of changes to make: LOUise; trIm to clIP to SNIP; EXITlAne (again!).

@Rex, your music clips sure spanned a lifetime today - Nancy Sinatra to K'naan! Never heard of the Knux.

@Foodie, thanks for the linguistic insight. Not only do you explain it, you provide great examples.

Chip Hilton 2:25 PM  

@evildoug: I just don't understand why George was so upset.

I found this one to be a handful. Perhaps, being a tea-drinker put me at a disadvantage. More likely, Joon is a lot younger and hipper than I.

Way to go, USA Women! On to the finals!

Scott 2:50 PM  

"Still confused by "junta." I put it in and erased it about six times--I actually looked it up, and it seems to be more about military government than "interim" government."

The military typically takes over governmental duties between the time the current leaders are deposed and new permanent leadership is found.

chefwen 3:16 PM  

"I'm going to go drop trou". Statement made by big brother every time he felt it necessary to announce that he was going to the bathroom. It got irritating, but I guess that is why they invented big brothers in the first place.

Have not a clue why or how I knew STAGG, but I did and between that and RABBI, BHANG and ALBAN got filled in easily with crosses. Hand up for dOE SIXPACK first.

I'm going to pass on the YAM skins

Stan 3:17 PM  

A very enjoyable puzzle despite stumpers in the Northeast. At least the math/science answers were fairly easy (even I know ATOM).

I remember a linguistics prof telling us that the term 'u-trou' had come into the language via college dormitories.

Rube 3:22 PM  

The Hajj/Hadj issue has been discussed before in xword blogs such that I now leave the third letter blank and wait for the cross. Zipped right thru the NE but the SW stumped me last night. Had to sleep on it... rare for a Wednesday. Had IDECLARE but the rest was blank. Finally erased weib and/or dame, and put in FRAU giving ADORE and the rest fell into place.

Didn'r really notice the theme until finished. Was surprised to see drop TROU. DAMN last week and now this. If I were a southern belle I would say IDECLARE. I guess that as morals have slid almost everywhere else, it is time the NYT joined the crowd on the slippery slope.

Enough of that soap box oration. Good puzzle with just the right amount of Wednesday doable difficulty.

OISK 3:24 PM  

Loved this one. Stagg and Alban were both right up my (old guy) alley. Never heard of drop trou, but I had completed that section on the across clues before I even noticed it. I actually read books by Zane Grey when I was young. Never watched Gomer Pyle, but Louann just fit. I really liked the coffee theme as well. Thanks very much Mr. Pahk!

Rube 3:25 PM  

Thanks for coming by Joon. You do good work.

fergus 3:25 PM  

This started off so familiarly that I first wondered whether there had been a reprint mistake at the NYT. But soon enough, it took on its novel entertainment. My favorite Southern belle expression comes from Miss Scarlet: "Well, fiddledeedee!"

Anonymous 3:56 PM  

Got dropping trou immed as I thought it referred to what a man does when he visits an MD.

sanfranman59 3:58 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 12:29, 11:52, 1.05, 68%, Medium-Challenging

Top 100 solvers

Wed 6:19, 5:52, 1.08, 74%, Medium-Challenging

long suffering mets fan 4:38 PM  

"Drop trou" actually has its roots from that 50s-60s iconic tv show starring Larry Mathers
the phrase is muttered by June just after she pleads with Ward to "not be so hard on the Beaver tonight"

We all learn something new from this board every day

BTW, thanks Joon, good puzzle with some nice cluing

Stay cool, all

william e emba 4:56 PM  

I found the northeast one word easier than Rex, since I know that Rex's father-in-law is the unscrupulous billionaire Simon STAGG. I'm shocked that Rex doesn't know this. Maybe it's an Orb of Ra thing?

JenCT 5:28 PM  

Had DOESIXPACK because of HADJ also; same writeoever for SHED=>MOLT.

Never heard of BHANG. @Torbach, will you be bringing some to NYC???

Liked EXITRAMP & filled in COFFEETALK right away.

Sfingi 5:36 PM  

Didn't know STAGG, which was a Natick with the BAG of ROSINBAG.
Also didn't know DR LAO or ALBAN, for which I wanted AntoN.

Have heard of BHANG.

But not so difficult that I wouldn't buy tomorrow's NYT.

Maternal Grampa was RPI '09.

I remember when Tony Randall did voices for My Little Pony and said it was "based on a true story."
Also when he wore a Nehru jacket and insisted it was the wave of the future.

mac 6:03 PM  

@Torbach: very funny.

Go, USA ladies! We had fun watching the match this evening, and also seeing Japan win.

Nighthawk 6:11 PM  

Hand up for DOESIXPACK. Now wonder if it shouldn't have been JOESIXPAHK.

RC COLA goes with a Moon Pie. Maybe that's why Joon included drop TROU. Cracks me up.

@MatthewG, Cheech, and Lewis-beautiful!

Prefer rack of YAM to the skins.

YEGG and TOLE were my WsOTD.

Liked the counter balance of BHANG up top and SPACED down low.

Anonymous 6:41 PM  

While I'm sure somewhere in the world there is a recipe using yam skins without the yam, I sure can't find one. Lots for sweet potato skins, but that is whole nother critter.

fergus 7:29 PM  

Yet another case of one's own obscure knowledge: NE was laid in as fast as I read the Clues. BHANG was reminder from college studies, and my father worker for a while at the University of Chicago, plus I know the music -- and a reference to all the terms that came up when getting teenagers to explore evocatively sounding names for similar things.

Texas Momma 8:04 PM  

In friendly golf not uncommon to hear a male golfer who has not cleared the ladies tee box on his drive encouraged to drop trou.

Never actually seen it happen.

Chip Hilton 8:15 PM  

@Texas Momma: Yeah, there's a rather vulgar term for it here in CT. Never seen it done, although we've all knocked down drives and been liable at some point.

michael 9:02 PM  

I wrote in hadj but recognized that hajj was possible. The clue I am getting tired of is "other:sp" I write otr_ and then wait around until I figure out somehow whether an o or an a is right.

back from two weeks in Oaxaca (which strikes me as a fine crossword answer)

deerfencer 10:54 PM  

Good stuff--bhang-up job Joon!

sanfranman59 1:17 AM  

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 7:01, 6:52, 1.02, 62%, Medium-Challenging
Tue 8:44, 8:55, 0.98, 52%, Medium
Wed 12:33, 11:52, 1.06, 71%, Medium-Challenging

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:42, 3:40, 1.01, 55%, Medium
Tue 4:37, 4:35, 1.01, 58%, Medium
Wed 6:16, 5:52, 1.07, 72%, Medium-Challenging

+wordphan 3:15 AM  

Chang-bhang? Close but no buzz! Sir Edmund Hillary wrote about chang and the wicked hangovers from imbibing .

Doug 12:14 PM  

"Drop trou" we used in college (1970s) in various situations. Medical: "Of course then I had to drop trou."
Surprise: "When he told me that I almost dropped trou."
Literal: "Then the guys in the frat house all dropped trou on cue."

My main problem was hadj, since I ended up with "DOES . . ." which for some reason seemed like it had to be the right answer.

BHANG I didn't know but the solve for it was easy, so it had to be (just like DOES . . .).

I like things like exitramp and molt, dunno why, I guess I'm just drawn that way.

Surprised anyone would have a problem with Alban Berg, who along with Webern and Schoenberg produced the worst sounding music of the 20th or any century. Music appreciation, sophomore year in college, listening to the entire Wozzeck (it will be on the test) didn't make me want to drop trou, exactly, but perhaps toss cookies. At any rate, Alban became etched forever; good for a crossword clue every 10 years?

Anonymous 6:30 PM  

I see three coffee related clues and know right away that 59a is going to be COFFEE TALK. I would much rather discover the coffee references in the grid. Kind of a letdown in that respect, but a good wednesday challenge when all is said and done.

SF solvers are no doubt familiar with RITUAL Coffee. Happy accident or intentional nod?

And all you need to know about BRAS is that the D is the biggest.

Dirigonzo 8:10 PM  

I'm pretty sure Moxie would be a good alternative to Dr Pepper here in syndiland.

Terrific puzzle - lots of double letters gave it pizzazz.

Eastsacgirl 11:16 PM  

Hi from syndiland - unlike most others, I got the NE pretty quickly just from crosses. Only problem I had was middle right. Brain dead after a terrible day at work.

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