Collegiate honor society of Bloomberg Iacocca / SAT 6-9-12 / Annie who voice Bo Peep in Toy Story / Food from Tupi language of South America / Dish containing masa / Pain is Love rapper / Hockey shot involving two players / Rex Perpetuus Norvegiae
Saturday, June 9, 2012
[Hey, syndicated solvers! It's me, PuzzleGirl, talking to you from the future. I wanted to make sure you knew about the 5th annual Lollapuzzoola crossword puzzle tournament, which is right around the corner on August 4 (that's a Saturday in August). This is a really fun one-day tournament brought to you by Brian Cimmet and Patrick Blindauer. If you can't make it to New York for the tournament, please consider the "compete at home" division. Either way, you will be treated to puzzles by some of the best constructors in the business and I'm totally not exaggerating. All the details are at the Lollapuzzoola 5 website, so check it out!]
Constructor: David Quarfoot
Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging
Word of the Day: JA RULE (46D: "Pain Is Love" rapper) —
Jeffrey Atkins (born February 29, 1976), better known by his stage name Ja Rule or Mockaveli, is an American rapper, singer, and actor from Queens, New York City.Born in Hollis, Queens, he began his career in the group Cash Money Click and debuted in 1999 withVenni Vetti Vecci and its single "Holla Holla". From 2000 to 2004, Ja Rule had several hits that made the top 20 of the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, including "Between Me and You" with Christina Milian, "I'm Real (Murder Remix)" with Jennifer Lopez, "Always on Time" with Ashanti, "Mesmerize" also with Ashanti, and "Wonderful" with R. Kelly and Ashanti. During the 2000s, Ja Rule was signed to The Inc. Records, which was formerly known as Murder Inc. and was led by Irv Gotti. Ja Rule has sold over 30 million records worldwide and was the fastest selling rapper in 2001. He is also known for some well-publicized feuds with other rappers (in-particular 50 Cent and Eminem). (wikipedia)
First of all, ICE SKATES is correct because the Avalanche are an NHL team (62A: Avalanche gear). [added 8:57 am because the complaints / queries are already piling up]
A decent puzzle that ended on a sour note for me. TAU BETA PI is just random Greek letters to me, and so it was with no pleasure at all that I uncovered it (slowly) (50A: Collegiate honor society of Bloomberg and Iacocca). Since it was the only way into that SW corner, that little corner took as long as the entire top half of the puzzle, and with no payoff (except JA RULE, which wasn't so much payoff as "o man, I forgot he existed" flashback). There are so many Greek-named societies ... none of them is particularly resonant. Just letters. Disappointing to be so badly slowed down by the least interesting long answer in the puzzle. But these things happen.
ONE-TIMER (seemed like something I'd heard, though I don't care about hockey; I think it's where you score off an assist with a single touch of your stick, i.e. instead of controlling the puck and then shooting), and then that corner went down fast. The top half, where I started, went down so fast I barely knew it was there, so this felt *very* uneven, difficulty-wise. I wrote in DOHA, QATAR immediately, first thing, no crosses (1A: Al Jazeera locale). APNEA and ENOLA got me the traction I needed to finish the NW corner off (do *not* like OBOE PART—the duck is the OBOE! PART shmart. Redundancy! 2D: The duck in "Peter and the Wolf"). I think ORE CAR is unfair (12D: Rock carrier), since ORE CAB seems just as plausible, and BEY is just as much as a [Foreign leader] as REY is. Booooooo! Clue really should've specified nationality of the "leader" in question. KLINGER was a gimme (43D: "M*A*S*H" character from Toledo, Ohio), AGENT K was not (40A: Jones's "Men in Black" role), so they kind of canceled each other out. I expect a lot from Quarfoot (one of the great themeless constructors), and this wasn't quite up to his usual standards. But still pretty good, overall.
- 24A: Snarky reply after a lecture ("IS THAT ALL?") — I assume this is a "lecture" in the sense of a "stern talking-to." I've lectured quite a bit in college classrooms and have never heard "IS THAT ALL?" at the end (though some may have been thinking that, I don't know).
- 26A: W.W. II battle town (CAEN) — nobody likes the 4-letter WWI-Eurostuff, but at least this was something I'd seen before. Not great, but not EURE, so I'm cool with it.
- 34A: Leader given the posthumous title Rex Perpetuus Norvegiae (ST. OLAV) — hate OLAV in general because, well, there's always the possibility of OLAF. Also, shouldn't some part of the clue signal the abbreviated "ST."? I'd probably have gone STOLEN or STOLID here, Not sure why a variation on crosswordese was deemed superior.
- 53A: Annie who voiced Bo Peep in "Toy Story" (POTTS) — I have a friend who's weirdly obsessed with her, so her name came right to mind.
- 64A: #1 on VH1's "40 Hottest Hotties of the '90s" (MARKY MARK) — I wouldn't call him that now. It's Mark Wahlberg, thank you very much. Oh, what the hell, let's roll the tape: "Yo! It's about that time / To bring forth / The rhythm and the rhyme!"
- 3D: It rates over 100,000 on the Scoville scale (HABANERO) — forgot what the Scoville scale was about, so I needed several crosses to pick this up.
- 13D: Dish containing masa (TAMALE) — "masa"= "n. Dough made of dried corn that has been soaked in limewater then rinsed and ground, used especially in tortillas and tamales." I did not know this.
- 42D: Food whose name comes from the Tupi language of South America (TAPIOCA) — didn't realize til just now what a culinary extravaganza this puzzle is.
- 60D: Setting in "Call of Duty: Black Ops," informally ('NAM) — no idea, but still, easy. Setting, for a war game, abbreviated ... not too tough to figure out.