Tony winner Neuwirth — THURSDAY, Dec. 24, 2009 — Suffolk female / One in the charge of un instituteur / Like vicunas

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Constructor: Nancy Salomon

Relative Difficulty: Easy-Medium

Theme: 'Twas the Night Before Christmas — The letter string EVE is crammed into nine boxes of this Christmas Eve puzzle. It's like nine little Christmas presents!

Word of the Day: PAREVE (47D: Made without milk or meat)

Kosher foods are divided into three categories: meat, dairy and pareve. One of the basic principles of kashrut is the total separation of meat and dairy products. Meat and dairy may not be cooked or eaten together. To ensure this, the kosher kitchen contains separate sets of dishes, utensils, cookware, and separate preparation areas for meat and dairy. A third category, pareve, is comprised of foods which are neither meat nor dairy and may therefore be eaten with either. ...

Pareve food can generally be served with either meat or dairy meals. Some kitchens have serving and mixing bowls, pots, and knives used exclusively for pareve food. If a pareve food ... is cooked or mixed together with any meat or dairy products it becomes respectively either meat or dairy and all laws pertaining to meat and dairy apply, including the required waiting times.



Hi, everybody. It's PuzzleGirl! I'm so happy to be spending part of the holidays here with you all. Did you have a nice Festivus? Air any interesting grievances? Observe any feats of strength worth mentioning? I'm not going to take up a lot of your time today because you probably have plans for the rest of the day that don't allow you to sit in front of your computer for hours on end. Here at the PuzzleHouse we will probably be baking a lot of cookies. I will also need to make at least one trip to the grocery store, which I'm sure is going to be calm and relaxing. Then after dinner we'll open some presents and by tomorrow we'll be bored. Of course I'm kidding. The PuzzleParents will actually be joining us Friday night for the rest of the week and PuzzleHusband and I will be traveling to Chicago for a few days. Yes, I know traveling to Chicago in December isn't a great idea. What can I say? We're not very smart.

What? There's a puzzle? Okay, let's talk about the puzzle. I love a rebus! I really do! Thursdays are pretty much the only day we see them and every Thursday that we don't get one, I have to admit I'm a little disappointed. But not today. The reason I rated this puzzle Easy-Medium is that I solved it quite a bit quicker than my typical Thursday time. But I also wanted to account for the fact that the rebus might have slowed people down. It usually slows me down, but for some reason I caught onto this one right away. I'm all "Cavaliers? Well, they're in Cleveland. Oh it must be some college Cavaliers...." But then when I had a few of the crosses in place, and thought about what day it is, the rebus became obvious. Like I said, totally atypical for me to grok a rebus that quickly, so that's why I added the "medium."

There was also quite a bit of what I think of as Bob Klahn cluing. That is, a clue showing up in more than one place or a couple of clues that are similar. For example:
  • 25A: Monopoly token (HAT).
  • 54A: Monopoly token (SHOE)
  • 2D: Plains Indian (OTOE)
  • 36A: Dakota Indian (REE)
  • 49A: Ho-hum (BLASÉ)
  • 49D: Feeling ho-hum (BORED)
I didn't like the monopoly token clues because, even though I grant that it's perfectly legit, I've never called the "hat" anything but the TOPHAT. And I didn't like the Dakota Indian clue because I grew up in North Dakota and I didn't know the answer and that's just embarrassing.

Theme answers:
  • 17A: In perpetuity (FOREVER AND EVER).
  • 29A: Fight night highlight (MAIN EVENT).
  • 38A: Fate-tempting motorcyclist (EVEL KNIEVEL).
  • 41A: One in the charge of un instituteur (ÉLÈVE). French!
  • 59A: Pan's place (NEVER NEVER LAND).
  • 61A: Has a blast (REVELS).
  • 4D: Cavaliers' home (CLEVELAND).
  • 8D: Sharp (CLEVER).
  • 11D: It was conquered in 1953 (MOUNT EVEREST). I wanted to include a "Sports Night" clip here, but it's not embeddable, plus I really only wanted the first minute and a half, so if you're interested you can go watch over on YouTube. It's pretty funny.
  • 24D: Like tank tops (SLEEVELESS).
  • 28D: Impossible to change (IRREVERSIBLE).
  • 30D: Tylenol competitor (ALEVE). I think of Tylenol and Aleve as two completely different products, but that might just be because I know way more about pain relievers than a normal person should.
  • 47D: Made without milk or meat (PAREVE).
  • 53D: Midnight alarm giver (REVERE).
  • 52D: Put out (PEEVED). I was thinking of a totally different meaning of "put out."

What else?
  • 6A: Emmy-winning character actor James (COCO). I couldn't picture him in my mind and when I Googled I realized he's super familiar but I would have bet a lot of money he was someone else.
  • 22A: Edible tubes (PENNE). I misread this "edible tubers." (Are there other kinds of tubers?)
  • 34A: Go "pfffft" (STALL). Don't like this clue. Going "pfffft" is dying. Stalling is more like "Ba-dump, ba-dump, ba-dump, waaah-waaah-waaah, cough cough, bonk."
  • 53A: Belly laugh (ROAR). Raise your hand if you wanted HO HO for this one.
  • 1D: Bit of a dustup (TIFF). Perfect clue for an awesome word.
  • 7D: Any song on a 78 (OLDIE). You whippersnappers don't even know what we're talking about, do you?
  • 9D: It may be part of a bank (OAR). The O was the last letter I put into the grid. I knew that it had to be an O from COCO, but "bank of oars" was not making any sense to me at the time.
  • 10D: Like vicuñas (ANDEAN). I must have learned this from crosswords because I just plunked it right in.
  • 13D: Cartoon chipmunk (DALE). I always want this to be Alvin, Theodore, or whatever the other one's name is. Simon. PuzzleKids are very excited about "Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel."
  • 46D: Judge's announcement (RECESS). Does it ever happen to you that you're desperately wracking your brain for a word and then when you finally get it, it's the wrong word. Yeah. Verdict.
  • 56D: "___ 'Clock Jump" (Basie hit) (ONE O). Oh sure, why not?

    Thanks for hanging with me. Rex will be back tomorrow.
    Love, PuzzleGirl


Wade 12:59 AM  

I am always the wheelbarrow. Always.

chefwen 2:12 AM  

My token of choice is the SHOE.

Great puzzle, put me into the Christmas spirit, which has been eluding me for the past couple of weeks.

My boyfriend Peter got me into the theme with NEVER NEVER LAND

Thanks Nancy, It was great fun.


Elaine 3:39 AM  

I am the IRON. My husband says I am the lasting person in America who irons things. Surely he jests.
Oh, and when the power goes off, we light a fire and play records! Caruso and Galli-Curci by lamplight! Eat yer hearts out, whippersnappers!

Oh, the puzzle:
FINALLY got the EVE trick after being, well, puzzled-- until met with IRREVERSIBLE need to fit EVE into one box. D'oh! Had ALVIN in the margin...never thought of HOHO at all! I even knew PAREVE and Evel Knievel and couldn't make them fit.
Well, it was fun being fooled for a bit.

Loved it! Thanks, Nancy S and Puzzle Girl. Stay warm! dry! safe!

andrea saucy michaels 5:13 AM  

never canon.

good write up, puzzle girl...
and sweet to make "Pareve" the word of the day, esp in the time of feeling acutely Jewish on Christmas Eve.

I always thought it was PARVE (I'm sure noam will chime in here...)
which I mix up with PARVO, the cat disease, right? Definitely not kosher.

Seriously, I think of myself as very Jewish and I can not believe others will be able to parse the word PAREVE, esp bec the rebus is far from symmetrical.

Fabulous that EVEL KNIEVEL has TWO!!!!!!!

Brava, NAncy Salomon!
Nice that the last word was ENJOY!

Oh, and I thought a LUNGE was the opposite of a squat...and where is the other D in HEDY?

andrea newel michaels 5:33 AM  

oops, that should have been "cannon".
2 nn's as in "nun". (what's a nun? you might ask)
Speaking of which, what was up with monopoly pieces to begin with?
How random: a dog, a tophat, a shoe, an beloved racecar (palindrome!)...and a cannon?

why not an earplug? a one-legged cat? a dented picture frame?

Elaine 5:58 AM  

@Andrea Nova Michaels
Hey, I am very Methodist, and I got PAREVE like *that* (snapping fingers.) C'mon. It's a small world, after all.

Pertly, the Rain

imsdave 6:10 AM  

What a nice start to the day. Quickest I (eve)r picked up a rebus for similar reasons to PG.

I'm with ACME on the racecar (NOT car, btw).

I put together another puzzle for youse guys - its here

Merry Christmas all - off to Vermont!

Jeffrey 7:56 AM  

I'm the dog. This was a puzzle to ENJOY. Got the rebus in 1.2 seconds.

David 8:01 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
David 8:10 AM  

The benefit of being raised Reform (Jewish that is) is blissfully not knowing about words like PAREVE, thank God.

Nice write up, PuzzleGirl - following Rex's form with your own delightful brio.

It only occurred to me afterwards that the "eve" was for Xmas - sigh, what a Grinch I am!

Merry Merry to everyone!

Phil R 8:34 AM  

I knew it was a rebus before I even started. Took one look at the constructor, and new it would be a rebus, a delightful and tricky one at that. FOR[EVE]RANDA[DAY] got me started on what was surely to be a mind blowingly rapid solution.

I spent at least 5 minutes trying to fill in 6A at the very end, finally realizing that maybe it wasn't some tricky quirk of Ms Salomon to have only one [DAY] in there, and yes, Forever and Ever is a phrase.

My Monopoly set only ever had one or two regulation pieces. I was most frequently whatever small piece of crap lying around the room that would easily fit on the board. God, that sentence seems sad.

@Wade - Wheelbarrow? Cause it's the only one that gets loaded?

Anonymous 8:39 AM  

Happy Birthday Golfballman!

Kurt 9:23 AM  

Shoe or tophat depending on my mood.

Loved EVEry bit of the puzzle. Loved EVEry bit of Puzzle Girl's write-up. Thanks.

Enjoy the holidays.

joho 9:27 AM  

Definitely the dog.

Loved FOREVERANDEVER in the top left and NEVERNEVERLAND in the bottom right.

PAREVE was my word of the day, thanks for the definition, PuzzleGirl ... and the great write-up.

I look forward to rebuses and especially Nancy Salomon's. Thank you, Nancy, for such a joyous, timely puzzle!

mccoll 9:39 AM  

Pretty good for a Thursday. I caught on to the rebus right away from Mount Everest. I remember where I was when the announcement came that Tensing and Hillary had done it. It was quite a feat in those days. So.... the EVE allowed me to get the puzzle in record time time (for pen and paper) Living where I do I don't know any Jewish people so PAREVE was a mystery but the crosses were easy.
Hey, Puzzle Girl, have a Merry Puzzle Christmas with your Merry Puzzle Family. Good write-up and good puzzle NS. Happy happy to everybody!

ArtLvr 10:03 AM  

HELLO and AHOY! Our TREK seemed endless to the NTH degree, but we're happily arrived in Chicago, ready to ENJOY the MAIN EVENT, with LOINS girded. I appreciated the rugged images of scaling MOUNT EVEREST or ANDEAN heights in the NE!

Many thanks to Puzzle Girl for remaining on deck here with bank of OARs to cross the EBRO, and to Nancy Salomon for the suber puzzle. No, that's not a typo, just a salute to a super Rebus -- palindromic, i.e. rEVErsible, plus Xmas-y, yet inclusive of elements like HADJ and PAREVE. Wow.


Anonymous 10:18 AM  

Someone please explain how "Newel"="Flight support"?

Wade 10:20 AM  

PhilR, nah, it's because so much depends on me, glazed with rainwater, beside the white chickens.

Also, check out the Wikipedia entry on Monopoly for some interesting scoop on the game and the game pieces. There is something kind of spooky and quasi-Masonic about the pieces, but the explanation of how they come about may put your mind at ease.

Thanks to Nancy Saloman I will no longer wonder where the "i" goes in Evel Knievel's last name. All I gotta remember is "two eves."

No love for the thimble so far?

I am always the wheelbarrow. Always.

PIX 10:22 AM  

Enjoy puzzle; even more so now that somebody above has pointed out it's x-mas EVE. I spent most of the time looking to see if ADAM was also going to show up as a rebus.

Minor complaint: too much French...Eleve, Mais, Ses...are there some sort of rules limiting how many words can come from one foreign language in one puzzle? Of course I would have found this less annoying if I knew some French...

VaBeach puzzler 10:23 AM  

A newel is part of a bannister -- you know, FLIGHT of steps

I enjoyed the puzzle tho "the puzzle is completely filled" thingie kept going off even when I wasn't finished? Maybe those elves of the eve were spreading some mischief.

PIX 10:23 AM  

Enjoyable puzzle.

Anonymous 10:41 AM  

In large pulling boats, oarsman are divided into two divisions called “banks,” referring to the side of vessel they are on, LARBOARD or STARBOARD. Further, each oarsman is numbered beginning at the bow with the No. 1, and increasing in number astern, ending with BANK SWEEP.

Chorister 10:41 AM  

Hand up for wanting HOHO!

Know PAREVE from food labels, the same way I know the little K.

Do not self identify with any Monopoly token.

Loved the puzzle.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good...well, it's not night, so to all a good day.

michael 10:44 AM  

"newel" was new to me. So was "pareve." Otherwise, an enjoyable puzzle.

archaeoprof 10:54 AM  

Race car. If I can't be the race car, I just don't want to play.

Delightful puzzle.

In "Miracle on 34th Street", the judge declares a RECESS before ruling whether Santa Claus exists.

CoolPapaD 10:55 AM  

Loved the puzzle, but did not like the fact that I had to support Sergey and Larry for the second day in a row. Got the theme right away (as a former Clevelander), but the fill was difficult - certainly not neatly packaged and placed under my tree for me. NEWEL is a word I've never heard of, and ditto for REE. Not crazy about AMID, either.

@ACME - your fellow Tribesman has always thought it was PARVE as well! I also agree with the missing "D" in HEDY (I can never see her name without picturing the wonderful Harvey Korman - "That's Hedley!").

Merry Christmas to all, and thanks again to Rex, and all of you, for the wonderful gifts of laughter and learning you give every day!

slypett 10:56 AM  

I had much fun with this quintessentially Judaeo-Christian puzzle.

This Jew wishes all you goys a very merry Christmas!

Elaine 10:58 AM  

I could be the thimble! But it always got lost. Now that I have been quilting about 35 years, I am unable even to sew on a button without my security thimble on the middle finger. (In our quilting group, we occasionally threaten to "give someone the thimble...." Yep: quilters--wild and crazy.)

SOME people have posted without stating their Monopoly identities. I think that is established as today's sine qua non. (It's not French!)

NEWEL-- often a decorative post at the lower end of the bannister. If you visit the U of Toronto, one of the bldgs has a wonderful dragon atop the newel post....

Off to make pasta, springerle, and yeast biscuits!

OldCarFudd 10:58 AM  

Easy, thoroughly enjoyable puzzle. Thank you for explaining pareve; I'd never heard of it, and my ancient Webster's Second Unabridged doesn't list it(!) How is it pronounced?

@PuzzleGirl - If you drive a stick shift, and engage the clutch too abruptly with giving the engine enough gas, the engine stalls. NOW!! An airplane can also stall; it has nothing to do with engine failure (gliders, which have no engine, can stall), but rather with the wing losing its lift. Depending on the configuration of the plane and the way the stalling condition is approached, the stall can be quite gentle or frighteningly (and, at low altitude, fatally) abrupt. Not a good thing to dwell on at Christmas eve. Happy holidays, everyone!

Two Ponies 11:00 AM  

I usually love rebus puzzles but this one was just OK.
As noted above, a bit heavy on the French with three Spanish answers and two Indian tribes.
I had no idea what pareve meant but I think I remember seeing it in the kosher aisle of the store.
Ree is totally new to me.
Ree and Rae then Aleve and eleve (is that two words?) looks odd in my grid.
It also occured to me to wonder why Evel pronounces the K in his last name. I guess Evel Nievel does sound sing-songy.
Off to the mountains in the morning for traditional day of hiking with the dogs. Supposed to be sunny and 60 in the Mojave.
Oh yes, I'm always the dog.

Elaine2 11:26 AM  

thanks, Puzzle Girl, for a great writeup today!

Amazing -- I got the rebus but missed the reason...oh, well. Fun puzzle anyway!

treedweller 11:26 AM  

Hand up for FOREVERANDaday. I struggled to make that work for an embarrassingly long time. Never heard of REE. RAE looks awful, but I didn't see it while solving, and still don't know how it was clued.

I hate Monopoly. It's too long, kinda boring, and my brother used to gloat when I owed him big rents. We played by our own rules and allowed houses and hotels without monopolies. When sucked into a game, I just grab one of the leftover tokens. Though I like the idea of tossing the stock pieces and using whatever may be around. Next time, I think I'll be the thumbtack.

Bob Kerfuffle 11:29 AM  

Great puzzle; great write-up.

Sorry, @Elaine, it's been sooooo long since I played Monopoly . . .

Like PG et al., I caught on to the rebus very quickly, but it was still a bit of a slow go, maybe because of the noted French, puzzlement over STALL (thank you,@OldCarFudd) and thinking there might be a second rebus that somehow would turn the totally unfamiliar REE into the more familiar CREE (a "C" for Christmas? - far fetched, I know).

@Andrea and CoolPapaD - I assume that HEDY is a diminutive of Hedwig or a similar name, so she can get by with just one "D".

xyz 11:37 AM  

I only had two squares wrong, but I thought these REBUSES(REBI?) were supposed to be symmetrical? Guess not.

PAREVE & EVEL were easy but I tried EVER-REVERSIBLE haha which gave THEVENLY - PFFFFT.

Edible Tubers include TAPIOCA and of course all kinds of TATERZ.

HoHoHoHoHoHoHoHoHoHoHoHoHo (and counting if you are Tiger Woods ...)

Happy X(word)-Mas all, especially you EVE

just oneof the goys 11:37 AM  

No monopoly token claim staked here. Haven't played in decades.

Nice puzzle - a rebus always gets me - easily 5 - 8 minutes added on to the time I think I should have. But that's not the puzzle's fault.

before I figured out the rebus I just put KNIEVEL @38A. Fit with PHILLIES and made the Tylenol competitor ALE, which concept I like. A lot. NARNIA LAND @ 59A (I know, I know - WTF) didn't hold up of course - don't know NARNIA so there might have been a Pan.....that made 53D RARE, another WTF. Took correcting this to get PAR[EVE], but once I saw it I remembered it.

The other Cavaliers are The University of Virginia BTW.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, etc., as appropriate. Grumpy Festivus (yesterday) if that was your thing.


chefbea 11:38 AM  

I'm and iron!! Loved the puzzle. Figured it out when I got aleve.

I too thought it was parve

Merry xmas to all.. now to do IMSDave's puzzle

treedweller 11:53 AM  

A quick google search reveals multiple "Parve (also spelled pareve or parevine)" entries. That's coming from an agnostic bordering on atheist due to unpleasant associations with the Baptist church (no, nothing that terrible, just not very warm and welcoming in what I would believe to be a godly way), so take it with a grain of wiki skepticism.

Dr. Jay 12:14 PM  

When an airplane goes pffft it stalls. Ask Sully.

CoolPapaD 12:16 PM  

@Bob K - You are correct, sir. I just Googled, and her given name was indeed Hedwig - the studio changed it. Unlike Lilian and Ava, that name is NOT going to make a comeback anytime soon!

Nancy 12:18 PM  


retired_chemist 12:22 PM  

@ imsdave - thanks for the puzzle. HUGE fun. Enjoyed seeing shoutouts to my cyberfriends. 92D was my favorite clue - after 109D of course :-)

SueRohr 12:22 PM  

OLDCARFUDD: Pareve is pronounced parve - just as it's USUALLY spelled - rhymes with carve.
Fun puzzle - thank god for all my French and Spanish classes. I knew they'd come in handy some day. I have played many games of Monopoy in my day but have no strong attachment to any one token. Those of you who do - have you considered therapy? Speaking of cartoon 7 year old granddaughter is desperate for me to take her to see the new chipmunk movie which is now out. I am desperate to avoid it. This will be the real proof of my love for her, as I will undoubtedly go. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all. We leave tonight for Sarasota to see aforementioned granddaughter, her father (of "what's a nun? fame) and mother, and her 8 day old brother. Very exciting!

jae 12:28 PM  

Fun puzzle. Caught the rebus with the Cavs and it was smooth from there. Add me to those who haven't played monopoly in decades and have no memory of what token I was attached to. Turns out that REE is a sort of nickname for the Arikara tribe which makes that answer even more obscure.

Happy holidays all!

jeff in chicago 12:29 PM  

Yes! Very nice. Very fun. Got the rebus right away (with CLEVELAND, my former home) and was off to the races. Loved that the two "ho-hum" clues crossed at the B. The SW corner took a while to figure out as I did not expect another EVE there. I wanted an EVE in PHILLIES (to keep the symmetry), and as I don't follow baseball, coming up with a team that had EVE in stumped me. Rightly so!

@Elaine: You listen to records when the power goes out? Are there battery-powered record players?!?! HA!

Nice writeup, PG.

Merry Christmas everyone!!

Steve J 12:30 PM  

Found it minorly (very minorly) annoying that the EVE rebuses were scattered randomly all over the grid, rather than forming anything like a symmetrical pattern. Other than that minor quibble, this was a mix of fun with a small number of borderline annoying three-letter fill (REE? When I looked it up after finishing the puzzle, it was listed as the third variation of name for the Arikara tribe.)

As usual, I was a bit slow on picking up the rebus. Finally got it with EVEL KNIEVEL when I had LONG, TNN, MAIS and PHILLIES crossing. Then the others started falling quickly (especially for CLEVELAND, which I had given up on earlier after I realized neither it nor Virginia fit). Ended up just a bit over my Thursday average.

Rex Parker 12:30 PM  


Yes to "dying" and OAR? and PAREVE?

Enjoyable puzzle.

Thanks to PG for filling in. I'm in snowy and (now, finally) sunny Colorado. Trip in was Harrowing ("... uh ... does this highway have lanes, and if so, where are they? ... I'm just gonna follow the two dark lines / tire paths in front of me and try not to hit the brakes ... at all"). But all is good and there are cookies everywhere and Whole family is here so yay. Happy holidays, everyone. See you tomorrow.


Rex Parker 12:31 PM  

PS much prefer the asymmetrical rebus to the symmetrical one. The latter makes the puzzle too easy. So thumbs up on that front.

jeff in chicago 12:34 PM  

Oh...I was usually the shoe or the Scottie dog. (Have I ever mentioned my obsession with seeing a Scottie dog head in the shape of Australia? Take a look at a map of Australia (the Wikipedia map is excellent). It's a Scotty dog looking west. It has the fuzzy eyebrows and ears and even a little chin hair. See? Obsessed!!!)

And now it's time to polish the Festivus pole.

OldCarFudd 12:54 PM  

@Dr. Jay - Sully had total engine failure, but that's not a stall. It turned his powered airplane into a controllable but not very efficient glider. If Sully had let the WING of that glider stall, there would have no survivors. He kept up his flying speed, kept his control, and flew it onto the water at about 1/2 knot ABOVE a stall. This took consummate skill, iron nerve, and just a little bit of damn good luck.

CoolPapaD 1:12 PM  

@Jeff in Chicago - that map of Australia = Scottie dog is terrific! There is also a Scottie dog pattern that one sees when looking at spine x-rays on an angled view, that is of tremendous help in diagnosing a fairly common fracture pattern seen in young patients. Google-image "spondylolysis scotty dog."

Doc John 1:58 PM  

Fun, interesting puzzle today. Had a feeling it was a rebus when Cleveland wouldn't fit into the allotted number of spaces but had no idea what it was until finally Mr. Knievel helped me out.

Nice write up, PG! Anything with a Brady Bunch reference is OK by me.

As a kid, I always had to be the race car, too, but now I prefer the top hat.

@ David: I'm with you, too (my grandparents were kosher and I just thought it was ridiculous. My grandmother was a great cook, so that tempered it somewhat.). However, I did know what PAREVE was because I wondered what the little "P" symbol was on some food packages.

Shamik 2:03 PM  

Great write-up, PG! Fun puzzle which I found medium-challenging for me for a Thursday at 10:18.

Haven't played in years, but always was the iron because the point of the iron fit perfectly on the GO arrow as if I could go and win the game just by matching the arrow.

Merry Christmas!

Jim in Chicago 2:03 PM  

Welcome, PG. Always nice when you babysit us.

A fun little puzzle. I got the rebus from NEVERNEVERLAND. I wasn't sure what the rebus was, exactly, but then PAREVE gave it away (since VEGAN didn't fit).

Happy "whatever holiday you celebrate" to everyone.

A few days ago I passed a zealot on the subway platform here in Chicago. He was waving his bible in people's faces and screaming "what's wrong with saying 'Merry Christmas'". As I walked by I just said "Happy Hanukkah". He didn't seem amused.

Jim in Chicago 2:12 PM  

Oh, I forgot. I always choose the shoe and pouted when someone else got it first.

Did anyone else see the nightline segment where they were interviewing the "anti pink fanatics"? They showed an all pink Monopoly set aimed at little girls, instead of the railroads you had beauty parlors.

nanpilla 2:18 PM  

I was always the horse, of course, of course!

Just got down to the Keys last night. Blowing too hard to fish today, so stocking up the house for the holidays. Family and friends start showing up tomorrow.

Loved the puzzle - also thought vegan before pareve. Always wondered what that meant on packaging- now I know. Thanks PuzzleGirl for a great write-up and Nancy S for a perfect Christmas Eve treat!

mac 2:18 PM  

Great puzzle, and I also got the rebus almost immediately with Cleveland. I didn't understand the pffft clue, and blase to me is something a person a be.

I guess a lot of you are going to have rare fillet mignon in the next two days, probably not with penne. Enjoy!

@Jeff in Chicago: I think Elaine was trying to sound so old that the record player was supposed to be a wind-up one.

I've always thought Hedy was pronounced like Hady, with a long (non-English) e. I relized today that I may be the only person here who has never played Monopoly in the U.S...... Those hats, dogs, thimbles and wheelbarrows just meant nothing to me! Think I need therapy?

mac 2:25 PM  

Thank you Rex, Orange and PuzzleGirl for all your work throughout the year; a merry Christmas and a happy, healthy 2010 to you and your families, and to all my puzzlefriends on the blog.

elkhornhouse 2:28 PM  

My first comment! Had peed for peeved but apart from that went very well for a Thursday. Merry Christmas everyone.

Anonymous 3:15 PM  

@SueRohr said...

Pareve is pronounced parve - just as it's USUALLY spelled - rhymes with carve.



I would say "usually carelessly mispronounced parve -- rhymes with Favre (also usually carelessly mispronounced Farve)."

It definitely has two-plus syllables, where the plus is the schwa sound (like the "a" in "senator") and the final syllable has a full "eh" sound.

Here's what Google turned up:

"parev, pareve, pareveh פאַרעװע, Yiddish; adj; neutral, neither meaty nor milky; fruit, vegetables, eggs, fish.

parva, parve פַֽרְוֶה, Hebrew; adj., neutral, neither meaty nor milky."

Perhaps needless to say, eggs and fish were controversial, because of their animal nature. The final classification may have been based rather more on economics than on religion (broader applicability in meals).


Anyhow, Happy Whatever to all (no one has yet mentioned Kwa[a]nza[a] -- what's up with that, people? :-) and Happy New Year.

Despite the Golden Bears not having showed up for their Bowl game last night. Grrr...


joho 3:17 PM  

Merry Christmas!!!!!

Jo ho ho hanna

andrevea carlevea michaevels 3:20 PM  

Welcome...maybe you should be elfhornhouse, just for today?

for you, I'll be the dog

horse??? What horse?

when I come stay with you in CT, we will play Monopoly...tho I once lost a boyfriend over the game. He ganged up with the third person we were playing with to drive me out and I never forgave him! So we will have to play with that potential peril looming over our heads...
Then we will have to haggle over whether or not free parking is just that, or entitles you to all the money in the middle (that we seeded with $500 + anything from luxury tax and the other cards...

I don't think the EVE rebus was random/asymmetrical. I connected mine and they made a Christmas tree

Wow, I just realized THREE of the entries had 2 EVEs! Genius!

Rube 3:36 PM  

I'm a racecar guy.
Got the rebus off of MOUNT EVEREST, an answer for which I was positive. Then, like @elkhornhouse, got tired and put in the o of PEoD as the last letter, thinking that that couldn't be right.
Is there anyone out there who, when they heard Hedwig, thought immediately of the pig in The Black Cauldron? My kids loved that game and movie.
Merry Kalikimaka from Kauai.

Rube 3:37 PM  

That should be Melly Kalikimaka.

Meg 4:53 PM  

Puzzlegirl: Nice write-up! I sat here wondering why you had put up a picture of Jan Brady. Then it hit me,,,,,Eve Plumb. Very cute. I really don't care for country music, but Randy Travis' nasally voice is so......nasally! I love it. Makes me wonder if he has a deviated septum or something.

Whoever explained it, thanks for the explanation of OARS and BANKS. I had no idea. I had James CAAN for COCO for awhile, but otherwise the puzzle flowed well.

Thanks Nancy!

Doc John 4:56 PM  

Does anyone else have that "Forever and Ever, Amen" song going around in their head?

mac 5:10 PM  

@Andrevea: we just can't have anyone else playing! When are you coming?

Parshutr 5:32 PM  

I am the race car. The judge's announcement was (briefly) RULING. And as Prospero announces in Act V, our REVELS now are ended.
Happy Holidays from the Taoist golfer.

andrea coco michaels 6:56 PM  

Wow! I JUST got that...Re: N(eve)r N(eve)r land that your beau is Peter and you are Wendy
Is that true in real life too???
(Forgive me if I'm being dense and it was a joke)

You are the parachute or golf club, I AM the racecar *
*Unless archaeoprof is playing

Presents wrapped, off to be the token at various Christmas (eve) dinners

dk 7:40 PM  

We fought over the monopoly pieces so dk dad would put them behind his back and we had to choose hands to get our "man."

The EVE theme is great and of course timely.

*** (3 Stars)

Biggest hold-up was the chipmunk.

All of you get to bed or Santa won't come.

chefwen 7:40 PM  

@andrea coco - That's what I tell people who can't remember my name, "just think of Peter Pan" they never forget after that. My real boyfriend/husband is Jon, the other kid in the family.


chefwen 7:42 PM  

@Rube - Where are you on Kauai?

Martin 8:05 PM  

I still find it amazing that Wendy Darling was the first appearance of the name "Wendy" in English. Talk about a novelist having an enduring impact!

fergus 8:17 PM  

Wade Carlos W -- were you the wheelbarrow as a child as well, or maybe you're a descendant of your referent poet?

I'm up here in the EVErgreen State, just back from watching the sunset colors painting the snowy Cascades. Wonder what it was like in the EVErglades?

Pretty catholic on the Monopoly tokens; and though I can be superstitious I never found the choice an impediment to victory, except for maybe the clumsy battleship.

Rube 8:41 PM  

@chefwen - The Kiahuna Plantation at Poipu. I just "registered" for this blog as Rube. Couldn't find you, but I don't know what I'm doing, and my 20-somethings are of no help, blog-wise.

Charles Bogle 9:15 PM  

Learned a lot today-from PG's fine write-up and the not all that far from "newbie," I felt a nice though small sense of accomplishment a dozen minutes in when I realized and announced, "it's somekind of rebus!". Then I homed in on trying to find the symmetrical answers...having only done three or four. Realized EVER and/or EVE was the "rebus crux.". At that point, put the puzzle aside, hung the stockings with care and came here to see what could have been had I but the time. So I declare a personal moral victory and more important, Happy Holidays to all!

Elaine 9:30 PM  

@ Rube
Who is Melly?

I lived in Hawaii from 1958-1960-- was there for the Statehood vote, the Statehood ceremony, the eruption of Kilauea Iki, and the last years of sugar cane, pineapples, and the undeveloped North Point.... sigh.
It's MELE Kalikimaka, but I admit yours made me smile more.

Aloha nui,
Elaine Years Later

wade 9:40 PM  

DK, my dad did that to me once.


I am always the wheelbarrow.

ArtLvr 10:47 PM  

We have to allow more tokens to accommodate @treedweller's Thumbtack-- and I must be the Cat with the Cheshire Cat smile, fading away this eve!

Glad to hear Rex arrived safely too, sorry to agree it was horrendous driving. Happy holidays again to all...


Two Ponies 12:06 AM  

Happy Eve to everyone here on the blog.
Just back from a wonderful dinner out including an amazing beef carpaccio. Remember this topic from a few weeks/months back? Highly recommend it. But then, I always order my steak "blue" in Europe or rare in the States so it is not a stretch for me.
My nice glass of Baileys on ice is nearly empty so to all a good night. Thank you all for the friendship I enjoy here.
@ Rex, Can you believe what a community you have created?

sanfranman59 12:14 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 6:38, 6:56, 0.96, 43%, Medium
Tue 11:00, 8:44, 1.26, 94%, Challenging
Wed 13:46, 11:58, 1.15, 86%, Challenging
Thu 16:56, 18:56, 0.89, 23%, Easy-Medium

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:35, 3:41, 0.97, 49%, Medium
Tue 5:31, 4:28, 1.23, 92%, Challenging
Wed 6:46, 5:52, 1.15, 85%, Challenging
Thu 8:58, 9:07, 0.98, 51%, Medium

film izle 4:14 PM  

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The Big E 1:37 PM  

I have to say that the symmetry issue bothered me as well - there "was" symmetry to a point - two "eve"s in each of the three across clues, and one "eve" in each of the big down clues. Then some random "eve" off in the SW corner? It felt forced and made me feel like the constructor wanted symmetry but gave up towards the end.
I was a fan for much of the puzzle, but in the end, had to give it a thumbs down.

Waxy in Montreal 11:54 AM  

From syncity. What a difference 5 weeks can make - CONAN (6D) for now has become an ex-big name in late-night.

CLEVELAND and MOUNTEVEREST (and the 1224 under the grid) quickly provided the rebus and the rest of the puzzle was fun. Except for the intersection of REE and NEWEL - had for NYTOL and RYE for far too long but just IBSEN refused to spell his name as IBSON.

Wooden milk bottle or I won't play!

WilsonCPU 12:04 PM  

One more from SyndicationLand: the extra asymmetrical "PEEVED" in Nevada did so to me.... and the battleship, so cool to watch it sail around the corners! (Well, it was cool back then....)

Singer 2:16 PM  

I'm with Waxy - I almost didn't want to put Conan in - then remembered that the NBC late night massacre hadn't happened yet and it was Christmas Eve.

I got the rebus on Cleveland, much as PG. Thought this was the easiest rebus I have done, and enjoyed it.

I don't see how connecting the EVES gets you a Christmas tree - they are most definitely assymetrical, but no argument with RP that the assymetry is welcome.

One more Christmas connection - Jimmy Stewart always took the newel post off when he went up the stairs of his house in "It's a Wonderful Life".

Nice to remember Christmas at the dreary end of January!

BassManPDX 12:24 AM  

Out here in syndication land, it did not occur to me that this was a Christmas EVE puzzle, so once I caught on to the theme, I penciled in "All About Eve" as the theme.

Anonymous 11:36 PM  

I know that you respond to posts from people who get the puzzle in syndication 6 weeks late. Just curious if you still see posts from someone who does the NYT page-a-day calendar about 3 1/2 years after the original publication. I like to review your blog after doing the puzzles anyhow, so thanks for keeping it available. Hope you're still doing it - I could check but I wouldn't want an unfair advantage when I start work on my 2016 calendar.

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