Bandleader Kyser / WED 11-16-11 / Baseball star nicknamed Godzilla / 1960s payola figure Freed / Phenomenon named for infant Jesus / Salad made famous by Julia Child

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Constructor: Gary Cee

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: BEER CHASER (62A: Shot follower ... and a hint to the starts of 17-, 23-, 39- and 48-Across) — First words of theme answers can also follow BEER in familiar phrases

  • BOTTLE NECK (17A: Common result of a lane closing) — Beer bottle
  • GARDEN PARTY (23A: Outdoor affair) — Beer garden
  • BARREL OF MONKEYS (39A: Large, fun quantity, in a saying) — Beer barrel
  • BELLY DANCER (48A: Performer with sinuous moves) — Beer belly


Word of the Day: KAY Kyser (41D: Bandleader Kyser) —
James Kern (“Kay”) Kyser (June 18, 1905 – July 23, 1985) was a popular bandleader and radio personality of the 1930s and 1940s. [...] Following graduation, Kyser and his band, which included Sully Mason on saxophone and arranger George Duning, toured Midwest restaurants and night clubs and gradually built a following. They were particularly popular at Chicago's Blackhawk restaurant, where Kyser came up with an act combining a quiz with music which became "Kay Kyser’s Kollege of Musical Knowledge." The act was broadcast on the Mutual Radio in 1938 and then moved to NBC Radio from 1939 to 1949. The show rose in the ratings and spawned many imitators. Kyser led the band as “The Ol’ Perfessor,” spouting catchphrases: “That’s right—you’re wrong”, “Evenin’ folks, how y’all?” and “C'mon, chillun! Le's dance!” (wikipedia)
• • •
I guess there aren't really any familiar phrases starting with BONG or GOGGLES ...

Hey look, I found Tuesday's puzzle. It was hiding in Wednesday's paper. I did this with almost no hesitation, and was actually surprised / disappointed to find that I had a time over 4 minutes. I solved this first thing on waking, without aid of any liquid stimulant, and so I don't think peak speed was attainable. Anyhoo, there were only a couple of places where I actually had to think today. Wrote in THOU for THEE and couldn't make sense of 10A: January 1 game at all. Even when I got it, I thought "Does he mean ROSE BOWL?" Then I realized that BOWL describes any number of games being played on that date. OK. Also could not remember "WHEAT penny" (12D: ___ penny (pre-1959 cent)) (I'm currently reading Stephen King's new book "11/22/1963," in which our time-traveling protagonist alights initially in the last year of the WHEAT penny ...). Later, I blanked briefly on MATSUI (43A: Baseball star nicknamed Godzilla) and confused AMU Darya with ABU Dhabi (35D: ___ Darya (river of central 58-Down)). Other than that, no resistance. A very smooth puzzle overall. Simple theme concept, nicely executed. A good revealer is the key to these "first words have X in common" puzzles, and this one has one.



Bullets:
  • 1A: Some undies (BVDS) — briefly (!) considered BRAS. But then VLOG set me straight (2D: Journal on YouTube, maybe)
  • 8D: Social contract theorist John (LOCKE) — Also, apparently, a character on "Lost." Not that I'd know.
  • 27D: ___ Freed, 1960s payola figure (ALAN) — Saw his name just the other day while searching down info for a clue for LES PAUL (both early inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame).
  • 51D: Kind of football with eight-player teams (ARENA) — hesitated here as well. This kind of football is not on my radar at all. I mean, I know it exists, but have no idea where it's played, by whom, etc.
  • 45D: Phenomenon named for the infant Jesus (EL NIÑO) — wow. I had no idea. Weird naming choice for such a potentially destructive phenomenon. Baby Jesus brings you ... drought and floods! 


  • 25D: Kind of salad made famous by Julia Child (NIÇOISE) — had the "NI-" so this was easy. I didn't know she made it popular.
  • 22D: Warren ___, baseball's winningest lefty (SPAHN) — Just saw his picture yesterday, juxtaposed with Randy Johnson's, in this giant "Sports Illustrated" book that was on a Barnes & Noble "Giant Gift Books" table. So far, B&N seems to be resisting the urge to put Santas and elves and reindeer everywhere (before Thanksgiving!). The same cannot be said for CVS, Wal-Mart, etc...
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

71 comments:

jberg 7:46 AM  

@Rex, it's El Nino because it sets in, when it does, right after Christmas, birthday of the infant Jesus, so it's kind of a joke. Also (and here I'm out of my depth) I think it's benevolent some places - something about the Peruvian anchovy catch, maybe (I'm not making this up!)

I just now figured out 34D - a (bad) phonetic spelling of F, not shorthand for Es and Fs. I guess if you're named CEE, you're inclined to that sort of thing.

But OCHER? I've never in my life seen it spelled other than OCHre.

That aside, fast and fun!

Z 7:49 AM  

9/10ths easy, but did not finish the NW. I don't know BABA cake nor SITZ bath. Considered and discarded ALAI without writing it in. Had A---E at 20A, so ended with 5 of the NW 16 letters filled. VLOG makes sense now, but I can't recall ever running across the term. If I had left the puzzle until later I might have pulled BVDS out of my crossword memory, written in ALAI, or gotten off of file and onto DATA.

Vincent L. 7:57 AM  

Straightforward and fun, but for the NE corner. I had fOWL for "Jan. 1 game" and considered fATwAh for "Penguin's nemesis" (on the theory that maybe Penguin was Rushdie's publisher!) before the crosses gave me the wonderful fAT MAN!

Tita 8:05 AM  

Liked this fine...was tough going at first, then got better...

@Z - thos of us from Connecticut know Milford Jai Alai, thus rendering ALAI not crosswordese. (Never been to a game, but the ads have etched it into my brain.)

Wondering what evil conspirancy is out there reminding me of my post-Halloween storm efforts...yesterday - ALEVE, today - Ibuprofen target- ACHE, plus OAK (the majority of what fell...).

Am hoping someone will describe SITZ baths - heard of them, don't know what they are...and expecting any explanations here to be more interesting than any I google...

SethG 8:19 AM  

Excellent Tuesday puzzle.

What about BONG HITS 4 JESUS?

Jim 8:33 AM  

I always solve for time now, but after Monday and Tuesday's exerience, I proceeded cautiously; like the first commute after a speeding ticket, leery a trap looms around every corner.

But there was no bogeyman lurking today just a solid puzzle, full of fun...and baseball!

Sparky 8:34 AM  

True, easier than yesterday. Had pain before ACHE, Natick at MATSaI/AMa. Guessed wrong. We had green eggs the other day, today red meat. Are we having EMU for Thanksgiving?

Oh @Tita I just can't wait to hear the descriptions of SITZ bath. I dreamt last night we were all at a party and I was dancing with @Rube. Sort of a hokey country dance Li'l Abner would do.

On my way to have the right eye done. Ta Ta. Later.

mac 8:36 AM  

Yes, there's our Tuesday. Didn't know Spahn and Kay, but steady solving got everything in its place.

@Tita: ditto. Only know Jai Alai from the signs off I95. An we lost three huge oaks between Irene and the snow storm.

Jp 8:57 AM  

Bottom part was easy but top not so with the NW corner in particular. Had BLOG for 2D and SALT for 4D. Never heard of SITZ. Too many names but at least some were "getable" from the crossings.
About typical Wednesday for me.

foodie 9:02 AM  

I really enjoyed this one ! Actually chuckled out loud when I finally got the BEER CHASER.

I confidently put TRAFFIC JAM in lieu of BOTTLE NECK until it was clearly unsustainable. PAPA Noel instead of PERE Noel, because all the French stories told to little kids call him that. Oh and BELLY DANCING brought back memories. Goes well with BEER drinking. Fun!

jackj 9:04 AM  

I was looking for something to ease the pain of another disappointing Tuesday puzzle but it wasn’t to be found in Gary Cee’s Wednesday offering which, while having an enjoyable theme, is littered with ultra-ordinariness in the fill.

It isn’t crosswordese that is troubling, (not ELO, EMO, ENO stuff), it is words that are too simply clued, with signaled, run-of-the-mill answers, like ACHE, SAYSNO, ARCH, NEEDS, OLEO, LOBO, IRONS, COSI, EDEN, ROT, EMMYS, PEWS, ELK, MANOR, CRY, RENT, AGAZE, etc, etc, etc, (maybe “generic twaddle” is a fitting descriptor).

Giving credit, there was one clever little bit, “What’s tender in Mexican restaurants?” for PESO which, though a common puzzle word, is not commonly clued. A little imagination can work wonders, no?

Restating the obvious, there are 225 squares in a 15X15 puzzle and this one features 57 theme related words, which is 25% of the puzzle, leaving 75% of the answers as “fill”.

Constructors and editors, please take note of the amount of fill; attention must be paid.

Tobias Duncan 9:08 AM  

Is La Nina named after Jesus' sister?

If this were an Onion puzzle, we could have gotten BEER BONG in with BONGWATER and clued it "Dont spill this on the carpet".
When I was in the service I made a huge beer bong out of aircraft parts. My buddies and I got to the point where we could drink 3 to 4 beers in one big gulp.I think I just figured out why I dont drink much beer anymore.

Once you have several obscure sports stars and ALAI in your puzzle and you know they cannot be clued any other way, your sports quota is full.Cluing BOWL and ARENA with more sports crap is just rude at that point.


Since Jesser doesnt do the captcha thing much anymore I have no choice...

Unctrant: an oily character who weasels too many sports clues into an otherwise wonderful puzzle.

joho 9:11 AM  

The NW is such an interesting corner with BVDS, VLOG and SITZ ... it had me AGAZE.

Fun theme, great reveal. Loved BELLYDANCER.

Thanks, Gary Cee, here's to you!

JenCT 9:12 AM  

I dunno, I liked this puzzle - only writeover was 48A where is started with BALLET... then to BELLY DANCER.

I thought there was fill I hadn't seen before: VLOG, SITZ, NICOISE.

Definitely easier than yesterday.

hazel 9:12 AM  

I think THIS is a puzzle to bring newbies in! Don't really see why Mondays need to shoulder all of that responsibility. There's just not much difference in my book between a Monday and a Wednesday. A minute here or there in solving time is pretty slim criteria.

I thought this puzzle was great fun, had an airtight (and ALSO fun) theme and was in general, eminently gettable. Working Purdue into the puzzle (via the sportsteam - sorry @tobias) would have ramped it up a notch. Liked it!

efrex 9:16 AM  

Exactly Rex's reaction to this one: Tuesday easy, and much smoother than yesterday's. A nice theme revealer makes up for a lot of ordinary fill, and this one had it. First time in a while that I got all the theme answers before the revealer, which made it all the more enjoyable.

Avoided the BRAS/BVDS writeover, but briefly had CARAT before CARET (one day, I'll get them straight - today is not that day, apparently)

After each of her three cesarian births, The Lovely Wife(tm) was extremely grateful for her SITZ bath, so that fell in pretty quickly.

Well done, Mr. Cee!

Lindsay 9:30 AM  

The BVDS/VLOG crossing was vicious. I learned the former from xwords, so I'm guessing they have to do with old people. Never heard of the latter, so I'm guessing it involves young people. Or at least people who inhabit some universe other than mine. Plus I was soaking in a Salt bath, which upped that corner's difficulty quotient.

The neighbors' whiney leaf blowers are giving me a headache. One group left, and there was about 30 seconds of peace before another gang arrived.

@Vincent L. --- very funnny

John V 9:34 AM  

Every @Rex said. Easy.

Glad to see Warren Spahn, as my mother went to high school with him.

Like others NW was tricky. If I may be allowed to channel @EvilDoug, it took me a bit too long to remove the BRAS and put on the BVDS, but that's just how it goes some days.

OT, but eerily quiet this morning here at 120 Broadway, across the street from Zuccotti Park.

mac 9:34 AM  

@efrex: I though sitz baths were for women who had NOT had caesareans!

Gill I. P. 9:41 AM  

This was a fun puzzle in a "why did he leave out tennis?" sort of way. I too put in BRA for 1A and thought that this word is becoming internationally famous.
When I saw WHEAT penny, for some silly, curious reason, I went to our penny jar and grabbed a fist-ful of Abe's. The jar is so damn heavy you'd need a fork lift to carry it to the bank. Anyway, nary a WHEAT. I don't have a SITZ problem so I stopped counting at about 15.
I like saying NICOISE and I love eating it.
A Tuesday puzzle indeed and enjoyable to do.

Lojman 9:53 AM  

SITZ BATH - you SIT in a BATH (the Z iz German). Therapeutic for whatever ails your SITZ area. Kind of boring when you get down to it - sorry to peel back the aura of mystique.

BICEP is informal only for professional anatomists. When was the last time you ever heard BICEPS BRACHII?

How does Will not just switch yesterday's and today's puzzles?

JC66 9:58 AM  

For some unknown reason, I immediately thought of those Alaskan seal poachers for 10D (Penguin's nemesis) and wondered why I had never heard of them referred to as BATMeN before. Took longer than a second before the light came on.

Glimmerglass 9:59 AM  

Probably some old time country doctors still recommend a sitz bath. It's for problems where you sit or in that immediate neighborhood (e.g. boils or hemorrhoids). All you need is a bathtub with a couple of inches of very hot water. Perhaps you add Epsom salts. You sit in it. I don't know where the z came from in the spelling.

aw 10:02 AM  

Not only did I finish this faster than Tuesday's puzzle, I finished this faster than Monday's. I think it's first time that's ever happened.

Gill I. P. 10:09 AM  

@mac: I'm still cleaning off the coffee from the computer. LOL and probably awoke the pups.

Gill I. P. 10:10 AM  

@mac: I'm still cleaning off the coffee from the computer. LOL and probably awoke the pups.

quilter1 10:18 AM  

Nice, easy, straightforward. My only write over was adulate for APPLAUD. Salade NICOISE was an answer on Jeopardy yesterday. Yummy.

calksm: what I do to bathtubs.

John V 10:23 AM  

Is there anyone who has not been exposed to In Heaven There Is No Beer ? No? Just as I expected.

quilter1 10:24 AM  

Yes, my experience with SITZ baths was postpartum. They kept you in the hospital for seven to ten days then (not five minutes as today) and you got to trail down to the SITZ bath, a sort of Jacuzzi for the nether regions. It was good, it was very good. Nurses also had time to give back rubs then, too. Alas, not even aides have time for that now.

Good grief! My captcha is *mental*

Two Ponies 10:31 AM  

Fun and easy.
My only stutter was seeing chart as a verb.
@ efrex, @ mac is correct. I thought more ladies who have had children would chime in on that.
Also @ efrex, I've always wondered about your name. Are you giving Rex the finger?

Two Ponies 10:36 AM  

P.S. I loved the misdirection for Batman. Orcas? NHL team? Great clue.

archaeoprof 10:40 AM  

Easy and fun. Didn't get the theme until the reveal, and it brought a smile.

@Rex: totally agree with you about the Christmas decorations.

PS: maybe one of these days I will get a captcha that I can joke about...

Campesite 10:45 AM  

What about beer Pong? There was a hoax a couple years ago that beer pong increased herpes outbreaks on college campuses by some 30% (the report was authored by the fictitious Dr. Cole Desorio). This was promulgated in part by Fox & Friends, which was hilariously dismantled by The Colbert Report.

The only VLOG I follow, or have really even heard of, is Jay Smooth's Ill Doctrine

John 10:47 AM  

I got off to a bad start. I thought "Common result of a lane closing" was TRAFFICJAM which really messed up my time for awhile. Otherwise, agree it ws pretty easy today.

davko 11:00 AM  

So there's babka, and there's BABA (1D). I remember the former as a rather benign Eastern European coffee cake that my grandmother would serve alongside Sachertorte after dinner. It's ironic that by removing the "k" that one ends up with a dessert having a rum-infused "kick" (Will, take note -- could be a good candidate for some future wordplay on Sunday Edition).

Warren Spahn will always be seared in my memory not only as the second-greatest Southpaw of my lifetime (the first being Koufax), but for the head shot on his baseball card, unforgettably sans cap (and hair).

syndy 11:01 AM  

My writeover was SNAKEDANCER? instead of BELLY.I really enjoyednot being able to quess the theme from the answers-thumbs up GARY CEE.ARENA is suspiciously ubiquitous lately coincidence or is Shortz playing with us? John Locke was the dude that the Declaration of Independence was based on-don't they teach Locke anymore?

Cheerio 11:02 AM  

Google "sitz bath photo" if you want to be fully demystified.

Masked and Anonymous 11:29 AM  

My puz clue drothers, for themed crosswords:

Mon: All easy clues. Put the pen on the puz, and it solves itself. Give the newbies a break. Head for the BEQ puz, if you crave a Monday challenge.

Tues: Mostly easy clues. But include one or two zingers, to give the puz a little sparkle.

Wed: Middle difficulty clues, but still with a few sparklers. A few more than this WedPuz, please.
(Close, with ALAI/PESO/BUN, but no cigar.)

Thurs: Let 'er rip. Give us your best tricky clues. The theme will (somewhat) help us get past the cluing trickiness. But still put in a handful of easy ones, to give folks a "way in" to each region.

Sun: See Thurs.
One dude's opinion. M&A

efrex 11:36 AM  

(apologies in advance for those who get squeamish about this sort of thing) @Mac & @TwoPonies: even after c-sections (particularly emergency ones, which all 3 were), things get pretty tender down under.

@TwoPonies: "efrex" is a handle that I've been using for nearly two decades now, and is not at all meant as a slight against Our Leader.

Moreover, Masked and Anonymous also 11:48 AM  

P.S. Excellent excellent WedPuz theme idea and execution today. Fun solve, except needin' just a little more tongue-in-cheek in the clues. This can really get subjective, I know.

My tricky clue ideas tend to lean toward the cryptic:
- EFS: "Topless basketball officials".
- ALAI: "In the manner of me".
- COSI: "Agree with, south of the border".

santafefran 12:19 PM  

@rex and @archeoprof at Consumer Reports they call it Christmas Creep and have little "ornaments" you can print out and leave at the offending early displays.

@John V - I hadn't seen the No Beer video but promptly sent it off to a beer-loving friend. I prefer wine myself.

VLOG is new to me but I bet it won't be the last time we see it in puzzles. This xword was a fun romp.

extermi--former spouse dead

Two Ponies 12:29 PM  

@ efrex, I guess your wife should know.
As for your name, well, I wasn't trying to stir things up but it "could" be a short form of
insult as in F-you (insert rex there if you're being naughty).
I think the answer for 34D led me there.
Sorry for the ramble, I blame the coffee.

Rube 12:34 PM  

That NW took as long as the rest of the puzz. Like others I had BraS and Salt. Knew of BVDS and SITZ so put them in, but had to abandon all sense of English normalcy to put in AGAZE. That left VLOG?? Had to give up and come here, only to find out it is a non-issue. Is this some Eastern European "great consonant shift" of B's to V's that I haven't heard about?

@Sparky: You're weird... dancing with a cartoon character in your sleep! I hope it wasn't in public.

OK, OK. Google tells me VLOG is video blogging, especially on YouTube. I say this for those (few) others of us out there, (like @SantaFeFran), who don't publish embarrasing videos of ourselves on YouTube and, thus, are unfamiliar with the term.

Gomer Piles 1:12 PM  

SITZ baths put out your . . . um . . . burning ring of fire.

Chip Hilton 1:17 PM  

Best: ELNINO (who knew?)
Worst: ALAI (lost without its Jai)
Difficulty level: Monday (meaning Will did a flip this week)

In this age of starting pitchers getting major props for going 7 innings, I recall a agme in which the great SPAHN and Juan Marichal both pitched 16. It was July 2, 1963 (that year again!) and the Giants won 1-0 on a homer by Willie Mays. Sterner stuff back then.

Tita 1:20 PM  

@Gomer - I like your explanation the best! Thanks everyone else who chimed in too...I now know more about this than I hope to ever need...

@Sparky - do you agree?
@Cheerio - don't think I have the nerve to google that. Everyone else's explanations paint more than a vivid picture...

Anonymous 1:50 PM  

OK, so yesterday was just some bad nightmare. A hiccup in the crossword time line. Whew.

I liked this puzzle, excpept for AGAZE. Seems like when a constructor has an odd fill he/she adds an A to the front and . . . "Tada, I'm done". Too bad.

My use of a beer bong was not for drinking beer - it was for enjoying some herb. Instead of water, we used beer. @Tobias - I don't think you would have chugged down any of this beer. LOL!

Cheers!

Lewis 1:53 PM  

It did feel like a Tuesday, especially with the relatively plain cluing, but it felt like a GOOD Tuesday.

A picky point: I think BICEP can be used as an adjective, as in "bicep curl", but when referring to the muscle itself, which is "two headed", I think it is always called the BICEPS. If that is true, then the clue wasn't exactly right. But I may be wrong about this -- anybody know for sure?

Miette 1:59 PM  

I thought this puzzle was MUCH more difficult than Tuesday's was.

I only had to google 2 clues for Tuesday.

I had to google 12-15 clues (at least) today.

I caught the theme though when I got to Belly Dancer.

archaeoprof 2:05 PM  

@SantaFeFran: Christmas creep! I love it. Seems like capitalists want to turn every holiday into a celebration of overconsumption.

arena carat monkeys 2:09 PM  

SOlved last night and wrote a comment and kept checking for Rex to appear...finally gave up and went to bed, but my take was so similar to @Rex's again, that all seems right with the world and I'll post it anyway...

Thought this was super smooth, and altho I didn't need the theme reveal to get any of the answers, I was pleasantly surprised and really liked this, even tho I'm a total non-drinker and the BEER didn't change meaning at all...

I think it's great to have BARRELOFMONKEYS smack across the center...and starting with BAR to boot.

Started off shakily with BraS for BVDS, but once I got my undies out of a twist, it was smooth sailing.

What's with ARENA 3 days in a row (and in two other puzzles Monday according to another poster)?

I liked CHART as a verb tho I'm usually anti-Haigisms.
(Who else remembers when TARGET was a noun only? eh? whatsay, young 'un?)

Even all the baseball stuff was almost tolerable (SPAHN MATSUI).

I used to collect WHEAT pennies
(my god, I am a dinosauress) so I forgive ACHE being a letter off!

Was taught this weekend that Beer Pong is just called PONG...at least to the young Princeton alums we ran into in Golden Gate Park on Saturday, who had set up a tournament by Stowe Lake...

Weird to see LYON without an S, as well as BICEP...and shockingly few plurals...I totally APPLAUD Gary Cee!

NICOISE was an answer on Day One of the finals on Jeopardy! Monday night. But I miss not turning on the TV and seeing our boy Joon.

santafefran 2:48 PM  

For those who are interested (archeoprof?) here is the link for those Christmas Creep dodads:

http://consumerist.com/2011/10/introducing-the-christmas-creep.html

Braves Fan 3:00 PM  

Spahn and Sain and . . .

Anonymous 3:11 PM  

Both Stephen Rea and Stephen Fry (of Fry and Laurie fame) appear in V for Vendetta. Recognizing and using the latter in the puzzle threw me off pretty well.

jae 3:32 PM  

Yep for BRA and "this was really Tues." OK puzzle with a very good theme.

Is COSI crosswordese yet?

Perhaps the Z in SITZ is the sound of the nether regions shrinking?

chefwen 5:16 PM  

Hand up for BraS at 1A, no idea what a VLOG is, knew aATA couldn't be anything at 3D, that's when BVDS came to light. Also had Blade in at 7D until nothing around it would work.

Austrian grandmother always talking about a SITZ bath, so that one I knew.

acme 5:21 PM  

I think men use sitz baths too, you sit in one and they zap you with lasers to break up your kidney stones so they can pass more easily ...that's the context I've heard it in.

Ok, you may uncross your legs now!

mac 5:32 PM  

@acme: lol!
With the kidney stones, I heard it was an actual bath you had to sit in. The procedure can be pretty rough.

dk 5:36 PM  

*** (3 Stars) Fun albeit easy for a Wednesday. Thank you Mr. Cee. No EFS in this one.

I wish 54A was clued for IRON City beer and linked to 68A -- which it was/is.

And, after years of drinking beer you may lose sight of your LAPTOP.

Nothing to ad except I am never taking a bath with Acme if there are lasers involved.

Chip Hilton 5:44 PM  

After all I've heard, I'd rather go with the anagram and have zits.

bageezer 5:57 PM  

@Chip Hilton,

Two pitchers going 16 may have been a big deal in '63, but it hardly compares with the game in Boston on May 1, 1920. Remember that one? Joe Oeschger of the Braves battled Leon Cadore of the Brooklyn Dodgers for all 26 innings, before the game was called because of darkness with the score tied 1-1. The whole thing lasted just 3 hours and 50 minutes. Talk about sterner stuff.

Spahn and Marichal: pikers.

Chip Hilton 6:07 PM  

@bageezer,

The next time Oeschger's name makes the NYT Crossword, I promise to give him his due.

I remember reading about that game years ago. I wonder how many pitchers were used in that 31 inning AAA affair a few years back?

Sparky 6:31 PM  

Started trying to tack shot on to theme answers. That sorted itself out. @Tita. I agree but more fun than Google. @Rube. If I am weird what were you doing at the party?

Back from Mt. Sinai safe and sound. Time for a little nap.

quilter1 6:58 PM  

Best wishes, @Sparky. On a clear day you will see forever.

sanfranman59 2:02 AM  

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 6:42, 6:50, 0.98, 48%, Medium
Tue 10:46, 8:52, 1.21, 92%, Challenging
Wed 9:10, 11:49, 0.78, 6%, Easy (8th lowest median solve time of 124 Wednesdays)

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:34, 3:39, 0.98, 43%, Medium
Tue 5:20, 4:34, 1.17, 90%, Challenging
Wed 4:36, 5:51, 0.79, 6%, Easy (7th lowest median solve time of 124 Wednesdays)

Anonymous 10:54 AM  

Spacecraft here. @begeezer: how about the time Satchel Paige threw BOTH ends of a double-header? Pikers indeed.
Hand up for CHART as an INtransitive verb. Yes, we can CHART our progress, but "He made the top 40; he CHARTed?" I don't think so. Bad clue.
Sitz bath comes directly from the German Sitzbad, you guessed it, a bath in which one sits. But that still didn't give me the NW. Never heard of BABA cake, or VLOG. I just left the corner square blank, totally befuddled, with _BDS trailing off to the right and _ABA hanging down. Yep, a Wedensday DNF: oh how that hurts! Maybe I'll soak my bruised ego in a SITZ bath.

Anonymous 10:54 AM  

@bageezer - With all due respect to Oeschger and Cadore, they were both 28 at the time and in their respective primes. When Spahn went 16 innings against Marichal he was 42, an age most pitchers don't reach until well into retirement (Oeschger, Cadore and Marichal, for instance).

Jen in CA 1:08 PM  

@spacecraft, one of my favorite things about this blog is being able to converse with people about transitive vs. intransitive verbs without having to teach an entire English lesson to explain what that means. :)

Anonymous 4:08 PM  

The Spacecraft thanks Jen in CA for providing a nice SITZ bath for my bruised ego. It was soothing.

Dirigonzo 4:08 PM  

My dilemma at 1a was between bvds and lace which both seemed plausible; all it took was a SITZ(bath) to set things straight (if it had been bras, which I never even considered, I would have been screwed). I needed the theme to give me GARDENPARTY.

Happy Winter Solstice.

Red Valerian 10:53 PM  

The marks, they be in. Happy Solstice indeed.

Guessed right at MATSuI AMu. Never heard of SPAHN, but no problem from crosses. Did not like AGAZE (20A). Ditto to comments above about BICEP. yeesh. (Of course, there would have been complaints had it not been clued "informally.")

Although I understand 33D "go to seed" as ROT, I don't like it. Sometimes, my zucchini rot, but they never go to seed. Sometimes, my cilantro goes to seed but it never rots. I would think that, in the plant world (so being all literal-minded here), any going to seed happens before any rotting.

@Spacecraft: I had an epic DNF yesterday. Had cART for 1D, and guessed at 1A and 3D, which left me with cAhAN and hEBULONPIKE. My excuse?--when I think "Rockies," I'm looking a little farther north. (No excuse for the director.)

captcha: screper = Xmas creeper beyond the pale

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