Pele's given name / SUN 4-14-13 / Italian Renaissance composer Giovanni / Aunt of 1960s TV / Knitter's stash / Sufficient in Macbeth / Actress Lorna / When repeated 1963 #2 hit
Sunday, April 14, 2013
Constructor: Elizabeth C. Gorski
Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium
Word of the Day: CHOCOLATE DROP —
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Hi everyone. Sorry to be gone so long, but I got sick in a way I haven't been sick since I was 11. Four days totally out of it and two more somewhat out of it. Then my cat died. Or, rather, I finally had to have him put down. He was 18 and I'd had him since he was a 2-month-old kitten. So, in short, April sucks it hard. But I'm feeling about 80% healthy, which means I'm good-to-blog. Thanks to all my stand-ins. I'd say you did great work, but honestly, I haven't looked at my blog in a week. It was that kind of illness. Nothing. Happening. Except almost three full seasons of "Mad Men." That happened. Nearly up to date. God bless you, Netflix streaming. Also god bless you to my wife, who cared for the increasingly bewildered and frustrated invalid, and PuzzleGirl, who just said "go to bed" and took care of everything, blog-wise.
If I owe you an email response or anything else, thank you for your patience. It may be a while.
The puzzle! What's a "CHOCOLATE DROP"? Honestly, I've never heard this term in my life. In my country, "drop" implies some kind of hard candy-type substance. See [cough drop], [lemon drop], etc. Google wasn't much help (except in taking me into some horribly racist territory). But I guess it's just like a "Kiss" only ... not brand-named, and British? Yeah? OK. But you can't have a HOT CHOCOLATE DROP, can you? The liquidity implied by "hot" and the solidity implied by "drop" would result in some epic battle of states, which would leave you with, I'm guessing, a gas. So the "DROP" part must just refer to the Down-ness of the theme answers. I love this grid, and I love chocolate, but both the title and the revealer are inexact and odd and confusing.
- 3D: 1984 "educational" Van Halen song ("HOT FOR TEACHER") — first answer I got. I love the clue, the answer, everything about this. And the song *is* educational. The video, even more so. I feel that, as an adolescent MTV addict (i.e. a card-carrying member of GEN X) (34D: MTV's early fan base), I know I learned a lot.
- 68D: Flowering plant used to treat liver ailments (MILK THISTLE)
- 5D: 1998 Grammy-nominated song by the Verve ("BITTERSWEET SYMPHONY") — a huge, huge song. I feel like it was in every commercial and every year-end sports wrap-up and every everything at the turn of the millennium.
- 64D: Light, fruity alcoholic drink (WHITE SANGRIA) — never heard of this. I've heard of "sangria," obviously. I didn't know it came white. In my world, it doesn't. Just like chocolate. Wine is red and chocolate is brown and snow and/or my late cat are white.
- 10D: Setting of Barbara Kingsolver's "The Poisonwood Bible" (BELGIAN CONGO)
- 26D: Classic novel subtitled "Adventures in a Desert Island," with "The" ("SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON") — read this with our daughter a few years back. It got to be a running joke—every time a new animal appeared, we would speculate on which of the Family would murder it, and how. They shot first, asked questions later, those folks.
- 14D: 2012 film starring Johnny Depp as a bloodsucker ("DARK SHADOWS")—much better known as a long-running British TV show, I'd've thunk, but it was easy to get with this clue too.
OK, I gotta preserve energy. Gonna wrap things up, format this baby, and get back to drinking tea and watching movies. See you tomorrow.