Enterprise captain prior to Kirk / WED 10-5-11 / Macmillan classmate Harry Potter / River across French/German border / City lake in northern Italy

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Constructor: Barry Boone

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: DOUBLE A (39A: Pro baseball level ... or a hint to 12 answers in this puzzle) — rebus puzzle with six "AA" squares

Word of the Day: ANA ALICIA (22A: "Falcon Crest" actress) —
Ana Alicia (born December 12, 1956) is an American actress. She is best known for her role as scheming heiress Melissa Agretti on the long-running primetime soap opera Falcon Crest. (wikipedia)
• • •

This one felt easier than your average Wednesday, but I figure the gimmick is apt to slow people down enough that solving times are bound to be about average. Mine was right near average, despite my having the feeling of tearing through this with no problem. I doubt I've ever picked up a rebus puzzle's gimmick faster than I did here. I hit 17A: "The Godfather" actor very early, with the "C" and "N" already in place. Then I made a face and thought, "Well, CAAN, but ... ?" Then I checked the Down cross: 2D: It's said to be salubrious (SEA AIR) and confirmed that the "AA" square to make CAAN was correct. Quickly worked down to BAAED / SAAB and knew that there was nothing else to the gimmick—just find the DOUBLE A squares, which ended up being pretty easy to do. The toughest "AA" answer by far was ANA ALICIA (who nearly ruins the puzzle with her obscurity—I'd take her as a clue for ANA or even ALICIA, but someone that unfamous should not be a theme answer).

  • ANA ALICIA / SALAAM (9D: Low bow)
  • SAAB (38A: Car with the numeral 9 in all its model names) / BAAED 
  • SAAR (41A: River across the French/German border) / IZAAK
  • AFRIKAANS / MAALOX (50D: It has its moments)
  • NAAN (63A: It may be eaten with tikka masala) / TEA ACT (53D: Boston Harbor event precipitator — awkward clue because of the need to avoid the word "TEA" in "TEA Party," presumably)

Besides ANA ALICIA, I had no idea about this Captain PIKE person (45A: Enterprise captain prior to Kirk). How am I supposed to know that? Did he appear in a lot of episodes, or was he just a name? Seems pretty dang obscure. VARESE is probably less obscure, but that didn't keep me from not knowing it (4D: City or lake in northern Italy). Didn't know what Carquest was, so that made NAPA hardish to get (I was going to say that neither of these auto parts stores exists anywhere near me, but turns out there's a NAPA in town; just in a part of town I never go to). I had some hesitation / rewriting at the HONING / HOARSE intersection, in that I had TONING, and considered BONING (up?) and then tried COARSE in the Across, which gave me CONING, which was pretty sure was wrong ... then tried HOARSE and figured that had to be right. I've read every Harry Potter book but I don't remember ERNIE (54D: ___ Macmillan, classmate of Harry Potter). ON LATE feels like a very iffy answer—a random phrase like IN THE HALL or THROUGH MUD. I enjoyed seeing DENIZEN in the grid opposed to the clues, for a change (43D: Inhabitant). I am 1/3 of the way through the fabulous new Ken Burns documentary "Prohibition"—just finished watching the first part about a half hour ago—so REPEAL was a concept very fresh on my mind (18A: The 21st Amendment, e.g.). Also SOUSES (48D: Drunkards).

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


Anonymous 12:07 AM  

Fun puzzle! Joon was awesome on Jeopardy esp. with his major wage on the Daily Double. Thanks for the write-up and the Prohibition review.

foodie 12:08 AM  

I started in the East, so the ANAALICIA answer was the first theme answer I encountered, and since I never heard of her, and since the down SALAM can easily be a single A, it took a lot longer to figure out what was going on...

No big problem, but it did not make my heart sing...

Now Joon, that was awesome!

88CalBear 12:12 AM  

There's nothing like the Crosswords app telling me that I have incorrect cells when I can't type multiple letters in spaces on my iPad. I hear that I'm wrong often enough in my real life.

Eejit 12:19 AM  

Struggled a bit with this one. How is salaam a deep bow? It means howdy in Arabic as far as I know. I entered doubleaa like a dumbass, so I was wondering how anyone could be named Leonaa for a while. Had coarse too, but coning made no sense. Sorry for lack of caps on the clues but I'm typing on my iPhone, no caps lock that I know of. The Magmic app bites too.

Jo 12:20 AM  

I'll admit that the Captain PIKE answer was one of the easiest ones for me, which is probably a sign that I'm a geek. (sigh) He was only in one episode of the original series and in last summer's Star Trek movie, though he's been mentioned more often than that. Obscure, but maybe not more obscure than a particular county in New York or any number of other bits of trivia.

Jeff 12:21 AM  

The aa and k in IZAAK/SAAR/PIKE were a combined Natick for me.

Also, @Eejit, if you double-tap the shift key on the iPhone keyboard, it'll lock you into caps until you hit it again.

Anonymous 12:35 AM  

can someone explain the Maalox clue? I got it from crosses but don't understand it.

foodie 12:42 AM  

@Eejit, I agree with you that SALAM or SALAAM does not mean a deep bow in Arabic. It means Peace, an abbreviation for Peace be on You (SALAM Aleyqom). But in the olden days, when people greeted an elder or an important person, they bowed when they said SALAM. And in some of the old European writings (and in crosswordese) it came to mean a deep bow. For some reason, it makes me think of Dorothy Sayers or somebody from that era...

@Anonymous 12:35, "Maalox Moment" is part of the Maalox ad campaign... Not the best that Madison Ave. ever produced...

Eejit 12:46 AM  

Thanks Jeff, but doesn't seem to work. Maybe it's cos I have a lowly 3GS. Maybe I should get a 4GS, but leaning towards an Android, but I don't think there's an app for that yet. I'd be dead without it.

@Foodie, yes you're right. My dad would have been mortified at my translation.

Oldactor 12:50 AM  

Anon: It is part of a tv ad campaign. When someone has heartburn/indigestion the remedy is Maalox. They're having a Maalox moment.

I lived in LA for twelve years and never heard of Xgames

Tobias Duncan 1:00 AM  

So... much... sports... rage!!Could not even watch Joon at the bar because of baseball.Everyone thinks my war against sports is one sided but sports drew first blood!
Damn you sports, you may have won the day but I swear...
As for this puzzle... GRRRRr I am going to bed.

chefwen 1:44 AM  

Caught on almost immediately with BAAED and SAAB, made the solve very easy, just kept looking for those DOUBLE A'S. ANA ALICIA was my big sticking point also, never watched Falcon Crest and had never heard of her. Had to get it with all crosses.

Joon is incredible, I couldn't do those math questions with a calculator, much less in my head and he did them in seconds. WOWIE!!! Can't wait 'til tomorrow.

CoffeeLvr 1:48 AM  

My favorite clue was for the contranym, DUST. Very nice. Also, ALANIS and LIANAS are anagrams.

I didn't catch onto the rebus until NAAN, not quickly like our leader.

I would have spelled IZAAK Walton as Isaac, but I have known SNEEZY since before I could read, and I did remember PIKE (although more from the recent movie than from the original series.)

I was pleased I remembered Eric HEIDEN right away.

syndy 1:54 AM  

Rex is just SO not a nerd! I liked the tea act clue and of course knew Captain Pike. Thie was the easiest rebus I've ever done-we don't usually get them on wednesdays. I liked the clue for TEA ACT and for REPEAL not so much for Ms ALICIA but gettable from crosses ITERATION is nice too

lit.doc 2:20 AM  

Yeah, average Wednesday time, and also picked up the rebus early on. But finished with an error in square 23—SWAGed “D” for “never watched it” crossing “never heard (of) it”.

@Jo, wasn’t the Captain Pike story a two-parter in the original series? A disfigured Pike in a mobility chair, a court-martial, and testimony told mostly in flash-backs? OMG, how geeky am I?

shrub5 5:44 AM  

Nice rebus! Caught on to it fairly quickly but finished with one error LIoNAS/SoLA for LIANAS/SALA. Didn't know the jungle vine and just goofed on Spanish for room.

@Oldactor: X Games are competitions involving extreme sports. They began in 1995 but the Summer competitions weren't held in LA until 2003. Examples: skateboarding, aerial biking (e.g., flips and other stunts in a half cylinder), etc.

Mahatma Kane Jeeves 7:23 AM  

"Accent grave over the e": SOUSES

MaryBR 8:00 AM  

Just not on this puzzle's wavelength.
Caught on to the theme reasonably early but after I had put in SALAM (one A) thinking it's annoying that it can be spelled both ways, though I typically use two As. At the end of the puzzle, had only 5 rebus squares and took forever to find the missing one, because of course ANA LICIA is just the same as ANA ALICIA to me. Boo.

Also had difficulty up top where I stared and stared at _ARESE. Somehow the cluing for VISTAS felt off to me. And I still don't understand how STP is the racer's edge?

joho 8:16 AM  

@MaryBR said, STP is an additive of some sort that you put in your car to make it run better.

I loved this puzzle because its a rebus filled with all sorts of fresh words and just a J & W short of a pangram.

AFRIKAANS is cool.

Thank you, Barry Boone!

And, Joon, your true daily double was amazing!

dk 8:23 AM  

The PIKE episode was back in the day when I had/watched TV so as has been mentioned in all knowing nerdness... penned that one right in the squares.

The only Leona I know is The Queen of Mean.

My time in LA paid off for both SAL and XGAMES the rest of the fill was an easy ride.

Got the theme from 39A as my grandfather pitched for the equivalent of the Red Sox AA team back in the days before TV.

Sigh, all these trips down memory lane and I still am not in love with this puzzle. The most interesting part of this puzzle is the initials of the author are BB and the trick is AA.

** (2 Stars)

d(the scourge of acme)k

jberg 8:25 AM  

@MaryBR - the STP clue is an advertising slogan. I knew that one, didn't know MAALOX bur figured it made sense with the crosses.

It took me until SAAR to see the rebus, up to then I had a lot of Natick crosses (I agree, ANALICIA makes as much sense as ANA ALICIA!) but then it all fell into place. Spent way too much time trying to figure out a three-letter surname for an actor in Godfather!

Also spent way too much time searching for the missing J and W to make it a pangram.

21D - Dusty is dirty, but I can't see DUST as "make dirty" - you can dust something for fingerprints, and nature can dust the earth with snow, but dusting anything with dirt just doesn't seem idiomatic.

For the past three days I've been away, trying to post from my iPhone but usually failing. It's good to be back!

mac 8:26 AM  

Snappy Wednesday puzzle, with this little surprise rebus. Somehow I remembered Ana Alicia, so I got it very quickly this time. Vistas took some time, thought of different meanings of prospects for far too long.

Eric Heiden: speedskating, my favorite winter Olympic sport, especially the long distances.

@Foodie: Somerset Maugham?

Anonymous 8:28 AM  

@MaryBR: "STP is the racer's edge" is another old ad campaign slogan.

Chip Hilton 8:53 AM  

I thought Trebek was going to pass out when Joon calmly said, "All of it" (or words to that effect) on that Daily Double. Our guy's got guts.

jackj 9:07 AM  

A fun rebus which also gives us some "hot" words, tamed down nicely for this puzzle, to wit:

That staple of soft porn "literature", AROUSAL, becomes "G" rated with its clue, "Awakening".

Not to be outdone, the potentially volatile SEGREGATE is quietly tamed as "Set apart" and, finally, DENIZEN is just an "Inhabitant" not that expected scary dude, the dreaded Denizen of the Deep.

Nice cluing, Barry and/or Will.

If anyone who speaks Klingon is a NERD, (see yesterday's puzzle), that must make make anyone who knows Capt. Pike, a SuperNERD or, at least, a NERD without peer.

Nice finish to the string of easy ones before we get serious with this solving stuff tomorrow.

David 9:38 AM  

My printer is out of ink, so I solved the puzzle on graph paper (it took 5 minutes just to recreate the puzzle from computer screen to paper - I get the puzzles from a daily digest).

Got the rebus immediately from the baseball league clue, but was still really slow in getting ANAALICIA (never heard of her) as well as IZAAK Walton and SAAR. In the NE, got slowed up with the L' part of L'ARC de Triomphe, paired with a writeover of TRAP over SCAM.

Otherwise pretty smooth sailing, I knew Captain Pike from many years ago, still spooked by his catatonic state on the show, and I studied the TEAACT as well as the Sugar Act, Stamp Act, Coercive Acts, and other Acts with my son the other day so that came to me right away.

chefbea 9:47 AM  

Got the rebus at baaed/saab. Fairly easy but never heard of Ana Alicia or Varese.

Lots of auto parts stores around here so that was easy.

Joon is utterly amazing!!! Look forward to tonight

John V 10:04 AM  

Got the rebus at TEAACT, got Naticked in the East at SAAR/ISAAK cross. Had AAR and couldn't get past it.

Absolutly had no idea who Ana Alicia was/is, nor Nala for that matter. Knew NAPA but had to Google to know who is Carquest.

My WOD: VISTAS for Prospects. Really liked that clue!

Always happy to see Alan Turing appear. Quite a fabulous guy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Turing

I understand MAALOX Moment. Tacky.

See you Monday. My daughter is being married on Saturday in what promises to be a brilliant day for an outdoor ceremony. Much to wrap up between now and them. No Maalox monents in store, I promise.

Anonymous 10:11 AM  


It doesn't take a Trekker to know who Captain Pike is, especially when crossing with Penn. Bruce Greenwood played him in the 2009 Star Trek movie.

Great puzzle. The rebus was pretty easy, especially with Caan/Sea Air, but the northeast corner was a pain in the butt. All I know from Falcon Crest are Linda Evans and Lorenze Lamas.

Bob Kerfuffle 10:11 AM  

Not a true Trekkie, but perhaps something of a nerd, I knew PIKE right off the bat, no crosses required. I have the impression that the episode in which he appeared, The Menagerie, was the original pilot for the series, though not the first episode actually broadcast. I'm sure some Star Fleet officer will sign in with the complete information.

Has anyone seen joon since LP$? Or is he still in Los Angeles taping his 200th Jeopardy! appearance?

Bob Kerfuffle 10:13 AM  

Oops! LP 4, i.e., Lollapuzzoola 4, not "LP$".

archaeoprof 10:16 AM  

I think Joon can beat Watson.

Salaam aleikum!

r.alphbunker 10:23 AM  

I watched the Ken Burns documentary on prohibition also. Probably the reason why I saw a connection between the 21st amendment and AA.

Also the 21st amendment clue was 18A which is interesting because the 21st amendment repealed the 18th amendment.

r.alphbunker 10:23 AM  

I watched the Ken Burns documentary on prohibition also. Probably the reason why I saw a connection between the 21st amendment and AA.

Also the 21st amendment clue was 18A which is interesting because the 21st amendment repealed the 18th amendment.

Lindsay 10:27 AM  

Didn't know CAAN. Didn't know ANA ALICIA. Needed all the crosses for MAALOX and still went "huh?" as I never knew it had a double A. Plus the eccentric IZAAK Walton.

Afrikaans & Segregate?

In other words, *not* the fastest rebus I've ever done, though it all came together in the end.

Two Ponies 10:30 AM  

I was so uninspired by this jumble of proper names that I tossed it aside.
Joon, on the other hand, is very inspiring and amazing.

Anonymous 10:31 AM  

Does anyone know if Tuesday's Jeopardy episode can be found on the internet? I missed it.

Rtully 10:32 AM  

Wanted AAMCO for Napa.

Bob Kerfuffle 10:37 AM  

@Anonymous, 10:31 AM - As with everything else in life, all you need do is Google, in this case "Joon Pahk on Jeopardy!" to get links to 10/3, 10/4, . . . and I presume however many more appearances there will be.

John V 10:40 AM  

@r.alphbunker. The Burns documentary is great stuff. I knew that the 21st REPEALED the 18th and that's what I kept trying to fit for 18A. I thought the clue, with "e.g." was a bit vague. Perhaps, "What the 21st Amendment did", would have been more to my liking.

capcha supsup: Not now, is's not even lunch time.

Anonymous 10:41 AM  

PIKE One man's stump is another's rote answer.

ANAALICIA crossing SALAAM [badly clued] yuk

[Prospects] for VISTAS crossing VARESE PTUI (Now there's a word)

Too many clunky answers for a Wednesday rebus.

Very messy


Anonymous 10:47 AM  

I caught the rebus early, but denied it until quite late since today is not Thursday(!) Can't seeing a rebus on Wednesday before.

I got Pike, but don't speak Klingon, but I'm just old, not (overly) nerdy. @kerfuffle: It was also my understanding that this episode was indeed originally filmed as the pilot (with Nimoy but without Shatner), and was unearthed, re-edited, spliced with newer footage, and aired during the regular season.

r.alphbunker needs to repeal his second post. ;^)

Anonymous 10:48 AM  

Can't REMEMBER seeing a Wednesday rebus....

jesser 10:55 AM  

I very nearly passed out when Joon bet 'all of it' last night, but when the answer was provided, I thought, 'Well, that's the easiest one in the category so far!' And he nailed it. And I did The Happy Dance, much to the consternation of my Yorkie, who apparently channels my old Anglada Building dance instructor. Go Joon!

Loved the puzzle, although I was surprised to see a rebus on Wednesday. I got off to a late start today, so I ended up doing it in the 101 Gold studio while waiting to go on the air for the weekly county update.

At home, my computer keeps telling me that its mouse batteries are 'dangerously low,' so I'm hopeful having this particular puzzle in my head will help me remember to stop by the Walgreens after work for new DOUBLE As.

Life? It be good.

ahecht 10:56 AM  


On Android, there IS an app for that. My favorite is called Shortyz (market link or author's website). It can automatically download the NYT puzzle for you if you have a subscription, and it can also access the free puzzles from the Washington Post, Newsday, LA Times, USA Today, Onion, Washington Post, People, Boston Globe Sunday, WSJ, and a whole bunch more. It used to support the BEQ puzzles as well, but BEQ asked the author to remove that feature (although if you use the Android browser to manually download .puz file from brendanemmettquigley.com, Shortyz will open it).

I originally found the app from the NYT article at http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/23/technology/personaltech/23smart.html

hazel 11:01 AM  

@lit doc - square 23 xing - very funny.

Kind of a quirky puzzle that I too felt like I should like a bit more than I do. The nod to baseball is kind of forced, I think - and some of the fill is just plain bizarre.

The highlight was the smugness I felt in immediately filling in REPEAL due to the fantastic Burns documentary. Part 3 included discussion of a flapper dancing with a real live boa constrictor - which apparently IS the origin of the BOA as fashion accessory. Prohibition created crazy in so many ways.

Mel Ott 11:07 AM  

30 proper names, including brand names.

I've actually read "The Compleat Angler". I guess that makes me a fishing NERD. A couple of decades ago John Hersey borrowed Walton's style and wrote an excellent book entitled "Blues" about bluefishing off Martha's Vineyard (and other important stuff).

Nakitab 11:11 AM  

The Capt. Pike episode was the original pilot filmed for Star Trek. Then, the chose Shatner to be the star. The Menagerie aired with the scenes from the pilot episode spliced to explain Spock's behavior and subsequent court martial.

quilter1 11:24 AM  

I found the puzzle easy and thought the double a's were fun. Knew PIKE, SALAAM and others. Liked VISTAS, DENIZEN, XGAMES. I heard Ritter in my brain instead of RIDDER but gave in to crosses.

I, too, gasped at Joon's gutsy daily double and wished they had shown the two women's faces. I could almost hear them thinking oh crap. Here I finally get to be on Jeopardy, I'm bright and know my stuff and I have to have this guy as my opponent.

Agree prohibition series is great, too.

Beadola 11:41 AM  

@Tobias - Joon is so wonderful and it is so much fun to be part of the crossword world, that I feel for you. I searched and it looks like you can see full episodes here:

treedweller 11:41 AM  

Finished quickly but had an error at PIcE/ISAAc. Probably would have figured it out if I had checked the crosses, but I was clueless on the captain and by the time I worked back around to the P I had forgotten there was an issue. I actually spent a lot of time trying to change the V in VISTAS/VARESE before giving up and coming here for the solution. VARESE is new to me and VISTAS doesn't really fit the clue, IMO.

@Eejit go to Settings->General->keyboard and Enable Caps Lock. Then the double-tap should work.

Stan 11:42 AM  

Not quite a big-league rebus, but fine for a Wednesday. Loved 'Allergy-afflicted dwarf' and 'It has its moments'.

Live long and prosper.

Detour 11:49 AM  

My brain was so convinced that rebuses can only occur on Thurs that I looked @ AFRIKANS and thought "OK... Maybe there's an alternate spelling". When I got to SAB, I was shocked that NYT would make such a spelling error. I was definately in rebus denial, but caught on eventually! As for ANAALICIA / SALAAM it was obvious there was a rebus there as the rebuses were symmetrical on the puzzle.
My Natick: ISAAc Watson gave me Capt PIcE. (i.e. his name in the original script which was changed to avoid confusion with the Old Spice Capt)

Detour 12:01 PM  

And Joon!! Yowza!
Very funny when Alex cut Joon off ("now wait a minute") for leaving his joke too soon. I could hear Joon's humble apology in the background. Don't mess with Alex :)

Masked and Anonymous 12:06 PM  

Aaaarg1: joon bets it all on math. Thumbs up. I'da seized up and blurted out "What is 31!"

Aaaarg2: Barry Boone commits AA battery on NYTPuz solvers. Fun time on the big grid.

Aaaarg3: I knew who Christopher friggin' Pike was. Was going to bore 31 within an inch of his life with my nerdy knowledge of this, but it's been covered pretty darn well by the gang.

Aaaarg4: Don't know what a Falcon Crest is. Let alone an Anaalicia.

Aaaarg5: Are there enough UU-words to make this kinda theme go? I'll chip in VACUUM and EQUUS. Let's do this.

John de Lancie 12:14 PM  

@Masked and Anonymous - Since we are on Star Trek, don't forget the Q Continuum.

Google Search 12:24 PM  

List all words that contain uu

31 words found.


Masked and Anonymous II 1:13 PM  

Wow! Muumuu! Har. Now **that's** what I'm takin' about! Looks like a G-O project to me. Do any of u cool uu-dudes make crosswords? I made one once, but it was pretty pitiful. It was so bad, that the Shortzmeister sent me a regrets notice, before I'd even submitted it.

As long as we're using the worldwideweb, let's not forget uuuuuu (Double-u, double-u, double-u). While we're on the subject...those W's look more like "double V's" to me. What's up with that? [Sheiss. I'm starting to sound like Andy Rooney. Congrats on yer retirement, AR, BTW.]

Barry Boone is reading this and groanin' "Oh, man! I coulda done a UU puz!" Har. More likely, he's groanin' "WTF?"

JaxInL.A. 1:34 PM  

If anyone who wants to communicate with Joon directly, he posts pretty much every day over at Oranges place.

I really love rebus puzzles, so this made me happy. Everything else has already been said.

Oh, except Congratulations! to @John V, and Best wishes for a smooth and happy wedding for your daughter.

Has @Sparky been back yet after her cataract surgery?

Lindsay 1:48 PM  

@Treedweller: My dictionary defines VISTA as "A distant view or prospect, esp. one seen through an opening, as between a row of trees."

Tobias Duncan 1:56 PM  

@ Beadola , you are an angel!Just watched it.Wow.

600 2:23 PM  

@Tobias Duncan--guess you were right yesterday about turning my nerd card in. Had Riker first for Spock yesterday, and couldn't remember PIKE though I've seen all episodes (both original and STNG) more than once as well as the recent movie. Maybe it's my memory card rather than the nerd one that I've lost.

As for the puzzle, I liked it a lot. Caught the rebus early, but Mr. Happy Pencil appeared even though I didn't find ANA ALICIA/SALAAM until I came here. ANALICIA/SALAM looked fine to me, and when MHP showed up, I didn't count the number of AA's I had.

Go, Joon! What fun yesterday's show was. I can hardly wait for today's showing.

Van55 2:46 PM  

It has been a long time since I counted proper nouns in a puzzle. This one might be a record:

Ana Alicia
Tea Act

35 total or 45% of the answers.

Rube 2:48 PM  

Like @Detour I was impressed with the symmetry of the AA squares and surprised that it had not been mentioned by others. Was suspicious of CAN and got the rebus at the SAAB-BAAED cross. I think I've seen BAAED elsewhere in the last few days. A rebus on Wednesday??

Have heard of Lake Como and spent time at Lake Garda, but didn't know VARESE although the name sounded familiar. Yes, Google produced Edgard Varese, a French-born "modern" composer who lived mostly in the U.S.

@jberg, If I leave my pick-up outside for a few days, it'll have a fine layer of dust. I have no problem with that clue.

Good puzzle. Go Joon.

Eejit 2:57 PM  

That's good to know, thanks a lot. I thought Magmic had the exclusive rights to the NYT Crossword, but maybe they're just the "official" app people. I'll be glad to be rid of it. Maybe I'll go Android shopping this evening.

@treedweller. Thanks, that worked! Too bad I didn't know that two years ago. RTFM I guess.

quilter1 3:18 PM  

@jberg, I'm with @Rube about dust. When our street was torn up this summer even though we had the house closed up I had to clean up the dust every day and I won't even talk about the front porch. Once the concrete and sod was all back in place it was power washer time. So that clue made perfect sense to me.

Chip Hilton 3:20 PM  

Allow me to suggest a trip to two of the hidden gems in Italy's northern lakes: Lakes Iseo and Orta. Not nearly as touristy as Como, Maggiore, and Garda, but every bit as delightful.

John V 3:22 PM  

Thanks, @JaxInL.A.
@Van55, I echo your implied sentiment, I believe. A tad too many proper nouns.

anon 10:31 3:36 PM  

I did try to find it through Google but only searched the official Jeopardy site and could not find a link to full episodes. Thank you for your help with the search terms. I found two YouTube segments for yesterday's episode.

CoffeeLvr 3:45 PM  

@John V, may your family have a wonderful, memorable weekend.

Mel Ott 3:58 PM  

@Van55: I missed a few. Worse than I thought.

Sfingi 4:15 PM  

I asked my husband if there was such a thing as DOUBLEs in baseball. SO I put that in. Convinced all twelve answers were about baseball, figured I was not going to get anything and I only semi wondered about the spelling, especially of AFRIKAANS. I was sure it had a DOUBLE A, since it was Dutch. My own maiden name is double-E, Drees. So I went on to Google for LEONA and it suddenly occurred to me what was up. Only had to Google HEIDEN, ANA ALICIA, ACCRA, and NALA after that.

So, I actually got a rebus!

sanfranman59 4:39 PM  

Midday report of relative difficulty (see my 8/1/2009 post for an explanation of my method):

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

Wed 12:51, 11:52, 1.08, 74%, Medium-Challenging

Top 100 solvers

Wed 6:43, 5:51, 1.15, 88%, Challenging

Rube 5:18 PM  

@Chip Hilton, thx. I'll put thhem on my, (very long), bucket list.

mac 5:30 PM  

@John V: it looks as if your daughter picked the perfect weekend for a wedding! Hope it's beautiful.

@Rube: add Val d'Aosta to that trip, not at all touristy.

long suffering mets fan 5:41 PM  

nice curve ball having a rebus on a Wednesday -- saw it with SAAB

hey, Evil Doug Cupcake, no funny dialogue from Falcon Crest to post?

lots of clever cluing, liked it alot thanks, Barry

@John V -- early congrats, father of the bride -- just went to a friend of mine's daughter's wedding this past Sat and it was beautiful especially him dancing with his girl -- hard to find a dry eye in the house

on to google Joon's Jeopardy's appearances since I didn't get to see them

Sparky 5:43 PM  

Tripped over ANALICIA/SALAM. Never went back to check. Found rebus at BAAED/CAAN. Had pun before STP. @VAN55--thanks for the count. I thought there were a lot.

@JESSER. You must write a book. Sad but wonderful story yesterday, chuckles today. Yea Joon. I'm clapping and cheering.

Thanks @JaxinLA. It went well. I'm doing fine. I can see The New York Times is printed with black ink not grey. Thanks to those who cheered me on with your experiences. You really helped.

Good luck @JohnV, Father of the Bride. Have a joyfyul and proud day.

JenCT 5:49 PM  

Bah! Ended up with 2 mistakes: DEZI instead of DESI and SOLA for SALA. Otherwise, liked the puzzle, and also got the rebus at SAAB/BAAED.

Wow, Joon is waaaaay braver than I am! (Oh, and waaay smarter too)

@foodie: I left you a message on yesterday's blog...

stix2metunesmiffin 6:21 PM  

I'm with @2 ponies, the names and trivia kinda ruined this one for me, especially the mideast. When you descend into Falcon Crest territory, ouch-town baby.

Loved the big downs, but was otherwise underwhelmed. And I'm still a little miff-tified as to why Monday and Tuesday weren't switched. I get it, Hail to the Champ and all, but seriously? Is the champ too good for a Monday? Cuz that what it seemed like to me.

Anyhoo, I'm a Red Sox fan so I'm bound to be grumpy this month!

Jeff 6:28 PM  

Did you know Izaak Walton? If so, can you go back in time five years and tell me so I could have won on Jeopardy!? Thanks.

Anonymous 7:41 PM  

I really enjoy reading everyone's comment on their puzzle solve: what was "easy"or "tough", pen-overs, etc. and I love hearing some of the stories you share, like the one about that abused puppy. so sad ! yeah, rescurer! so, thanks again everybody for making it so much more fun. "dinosuz" p.s. oh yeah, there is a special hell for that boyfriend: he gets to be who he is for the rest of his life,YUCK !

Z 7:43 PM  

Pike was a gimme - keeping my nerd card.

Have an issue with the reveal:

All in the north, all with two A's in the word. Since I knew 39A had to be either single, double, or triple A and really hadn't thought much about the blanks I had where the rebus squares are, I wrote in DOUBLEA and started looking for more words with double A's. AFRIKAANS showed me the error of my ways.

Answer: Payment for 250 weekday NYT puzzles plus 8(hundred).

Mike 8:02 PM  

A Thursday puzzle on Wednesday. Like Z, I figured it was the number of A's in the theme answers since I'd never seen a rebus on a Wednesday. But SAAB was obvious. In a million years I would never have gotten MAALOX, so I'm glad I gave up there.

aandreaa caarlaa michaaels 8:11 PM  

Got it at CAAN, but also didn't know ANAALICIA and seemed like SALAAM and NAAN could be spelled with one A.

Didn't know Harry Potter boy and a bunch of stuff so tough puzzle for me but I really liked it...

I guessed IZAAc/PIcE bec I thought maybe ther was a relation between the name Jean-Luc PICard and the character, tho I don't know if that's his real or character's name, or if that's who he plays.
I'm all confused!!! Beam me up, Scottie!

As for Joooooooooooooooooooooon,

joho 9:02 PM  

@Aandrea Caarla Michaaels ...hear hear about Joon! Woooooooooooooooooow is right! This guy has guts. (Not to mention more smarts than most on this planet.)

fergus 9:15 PM  

Someone (Orange, perhaps?) once gave us a listing of daily occurrences of a Rebus. I was arguing (correctly) that Thursday far outweighs any other.

I finished with Captain PICE, which I would have rued, were I competing.

Joon, apparently, is fulfilling many of our historical daydreams ... (I don't have TV), but no doubt he's slaying the quiz show, and the audience.

jackj 9:50 PM  

If one wants to see the detail of rebus puzzles that have appeared in the Times during Will's tenure, go to XWordInfo, (link to it is the last one listed on this site under "Other Crossword Sites), and you'll see that there have been 255 rebus puzzles and they have appeared on every day of the week except Monday.

There you go Andrea; try your hand at producing the first Monday rebus!

jackj 9:59 PM  

Whoops! I scanned the list too quickly and missed the two Monday rebus puzzles listed.

One was by Nancy Joline on 2/14/94 with a "heart" rebus and one appeared on 3/15/04 by Patrick Merrell which had a "March" one.

sanfranman59 11:27 PM  

This week's relative difficulty ratings. See my 8/1/2009 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 7:43, 6:51, 1.13, 94%, Challenging (8th highest median solve time of 119 Mondays)
Tue 6:57, 8:54, 0.78, 3% Easy (3rd lowest median solve time of 120 Tuesdays)
Wed 13:00, 11:52, 1.10, 75%, Medium-Challenging

Top 100 solvers

Mon 4:17, 3:40, 1.17, 95%, Challenging (7th highest median solve time of 119 Mondays)
Tue 3:41, 4:35, 0.80, 2%, Easy (2nd lowest median solve time of 120 Tuesdays)
Wed 6:36, 5:51, 1.13, 86%, Challenging

Nycscott 11:31 PM  

@Mahatma - thanks for the WC Fields refernce. I needed a smile

ack! me 1:42 AM  

@Google Search
just to take you seriously for a second, if you list non-repeats, coupled with words folks have actually heard of, here is what remains:

List all words that contain uu

31 words found.


so since you can't repeat, there are but four:
CONTINUUM (9, 8 as a rebus)
MUUMUU (6, 4 as a rebus)
VACUUM (6, 4 as a rebus)
WELTANSCHAUUNG (14, 13 as a rebus)

so, don't hold your breath @masked and anonymous...
thanks for the shout out/ suggestion/inspiration, but rebuses can't happen on a Monday, almost by definition...

waah. boo hoo. tee hee. ;)

Masked and Anonymous III 5:21 PM  

Yeah, I hear yah. Thanx for takin' a look at it, ack!me.
Figuured I was dreamin' a little. Wonder why EQUUS didn't make the list, tho...

Juuuliuuus Caesaruuus 6:04 PM  

Because technically EQUUS is Latin, not English?

Anonymous 2:03 PM  

Suspected a rebus when BREWPUB wouldn't fit in 18a.
These puzzles are making me thirsty.

DJ Stone 2:55 PM  

Seems the word "nerd" is being thrown around a lot in regards to knowing (remembering) who Captain Pike was on Star Trek. Someone even threw out "super nerd."

My thought is that if you go to a bar to watch Jeopardy because you want to see a crossword constructor play, and you can't believe that everyone else wants to watch sports, well, that pretty much makes you the Universal Nerd.

Seeing as how the universe is still expanding, Tobias should hang onto that title for a good long time.

Dirigonzo 3:44 PM  

Looking back in time from syndiland, the prime timers seem to have been a bit grumpy 5 weeks ago - apparently a Wednesday rebus got their shorts in a bunch. Since I frequently forget what day of the week it is, I wasn't bothered a bit. DNF though, because even with MAA_O_ in place I could not see MAALOX and the crosses were no help. Still had lots of fun.

Here's some of the shenanigans from 11/9/2006:

[Well that's just WRONG! There is NO POST for Thursday 11/9/2006. I scanned the write-up for the next day and there's no mention of any problem. Do you suppose Blogger ate an entire post?]

Anonymous 8:49 PM  

Don't you remember? There was no November 9th in 2006. The planet was running behind due to an unusually high number of extra minutes during World Cup competition, so we skipped a day.

Dirigonzo 9:40 PM  

@Anonymous 8:49 PM - Well that's a relief; I was beginning to think the only explanation was that @RP had skipped a day and that was just too implausible to contemplate.

Anonymous 2:40 AM  

@anon 10:47 et al: Pike was indeed the original captain of the Enterprise; they shot a pilot with him (played by, as NO ONE has mentioned, Jeffrey Hunter) at the helm and a woman (!) in the 2nd-in-command role, later taken by the redoubtable Leonard Nimoy as Spock. O happy recasting! (And now you know why my nickname is "Spacecraft.")
Hand up for the proper-name glut--though to be fair, sneezy, nemo and even hondo are lower-case words--not to mention pike.
Easy enough, especially after straightening out an early confusion. One of my first entries was AFRIKAAN, which is all that would fit. I'd always seen this word with an S on the end, but thought, well, maybe this form is OK too. Later, of course after I saw CAAN et al, I went back and did it right.
I will add one more to the list of UU words--hope proper names are OK for this list too:
Uumelmehay (Anne): the "brain" that Steve Martin connects so perfectly with in that riotous film "The Man With Two Brains." You ask how this could stay with me? I shrug and say, "Who knows how the human brain works?"

Today's captcha recalls another classic film, "The Blues Brothers:"

minspro: Cab Calloway and his band all slicked up to do "Minnie the Moocher"

Del Taco 3:58 PM  

Anna Alicia ??
Naan ??
Another ugh

White Bread 4:10 PM  

The Taco calling the Naan black????

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