Santos rookie of 1956 / SAT 1-15-11 / Arizona National Monument Pueblo ruins / Byzantine weaving output / 1954 Patti Page hit / Port on Panay Gulf

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Constructor: Barry C. Silk

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: none

Word of the Day: WUPATKI (32A: Arizona national monument with Pueblo ruins) —

The Wupatki National Monument is a National Monument located in north-central Arizona, near Flagstaff. Rich in Native American ruins, the monument is administered by the National Park Service in close conjunction with the nearby Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument. [...] Wupatki was first inhabited around 500CE. A major population influx began soon after the eruption of Sunset Crater in the 11th century (between 1040-1100), which blanketed the area with volcanic ash; this improved agricultural productivity and the soil's ability to retain water. By 1182, about 85 to 100 people lived at Wupatki Pueblo and by 1225, the site was permanently abandoned. It was a 100-room pueblo with a community room and ball court; making it the largest building for nearly fifty miles. (wikipedia)
• • •

[It's pledge week here at the Rex Parker site (thru Saturday) —read my pitch for donations in the opening paragraphs of Sunday's write-up, here ... and thanks for your faithful readership (and the many kind messages I've received so far)]

Barry Silk appears to have gone on a trip to Arizona some time in the past few years and just collected a boatload of crazyass names to put into puzzles. As I looked at the clue for WUPATKI (about which I had no clue at all), I recalled another puzzle with an Arizona monument of some kind, and an equally strange-looking name. Turns out—that was yet another Barry Silk puzzle. That time, it was TUZIGOOT. I get that these words are awesome from a letter-by-letter perspective, but enough. I tend to dislike uninferrable, semi-obscure trivia (esp. with names from other languages, and today had a few such answers: WUPATKI, ILOILO (39D: Port on the Panay Gulf), NIDRE (51A: Kol ___ (Yom Kippur prayer)) ... I got bitten by ILOILO once a few years back, so I could guess (guess!) that one OK, but I know most folks won't know it). Overall, this is pretty tepid as Silk puzzles go. No long answers that really sing. Big chunks of white, mostly adequately filled, but ... that's all. Just adequate. Really liked LIKE I CARE (18A: "Whatever") and (for some reason) T-MINUS (42D: Countdown term), but nothing else had much energy.

Don't know what a MINI-SKI is (16D: Bit of bunny slope gear). I'm guessing it's a miniature ski. I had SNOW SKI. Shakespeare familiarized me with the word DAMASK, so DAMASKS was easy enough to get to (29A: Byzantine weaving output). I was lucky to have ESPNZONE be a gimme (2D: Sports-themed restaurant chain) (first word in the grid, with no crosses—then straight to AZALEA, which I knew was poisonous—22A: Plant toxic to sheep and goatsbecause my sister and I once used them as drink garnishes at my dad's big radiology pig roast backyard party. Someone eventually informed us that maybe that wasn't such a good idea). AVEO is nice and contemporary, as short fill goes (47D: Chevy model), though everything around it is kind of yucky. I couldn't make a lick of sense out of the clue at 6D: Santos rookie of 1956. What the hell is a "Santos rookie?" I wondered. Is "Santos" a place? A team? A state of mind? Turns out, yes, it's a Brazilian football team. Four letters ending in "E" and a vaguely South American-sounding name in the clue had me thinking PELE early on, and once WOK went in (8D: Food is often tossed in it) and PAWS followed (6A: They have soles), I knew he was the right answer. The 1978 at-bats leader, however ... yeesh (28A: Cabell who was the 1978 at-bats leader). That clue makes me laugh. If ever there was a record no one cares about... You know the dude is marginal when the best stat they've got on him is "at-bats leader one year." Poor ENOS.

  • 1A: Notes' counterparts (RESTS) — went looking for some catchy phrase like "notes & ___" or "___ & notes." Found neither. Clue refers to musical notation.
  • 15A: Growing part of the economy (E-COMMERCE) — sees true enough, though the clue is odd, in that it's true enough now, I guess, but vague, and maybe won't always be true. Just seems like the clue could've been snazzier. And tighter.
  • 21A: Nuprin alternative (ANACIN) — "Nuprin" feels like a blast from the past. Then again, so does ANACIN. It's all Advil in this house.
  • 5D: Passer and blocker's teammate (SETTER) — wanted SEEKER until I realized that I was thinking of Quidditch.
  • 12A: 1954 Patti Page hit, whose title is sung three times before "Please, don't go" ("I CRIED") — god, that song must be pathetic. Let's see... hmmm, can't find it, so here's Justin Timberlake instead (roughly equivalent, right?):

  • 26D: Priority box offerer (GMAIL) — easy enough, as my University switched to GMAIL last year. "Offerer" is a funny word.
  • 36D: Eater seater, sometimes (HOSTESS) — "She was a one-eyed, one-horned, flying purple eater seater." Where have you gone, Sheb Wooley?

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]

PS any bets on how long until the first appearance of REINCE or PRIEBUS or REINCEPRIEBUS in the grid?


Sarah 12:18 AM  

Oh, Wupatki is great! It's on the way to the Grand Canyon from Flagstaff, so I would guess it's not *completely* unknown.

syndy 1:33 AM  

okay so ONE beatle showed up at JFK.which one was it?more brutal than medium and not much joy,had saddles instead of bridles ;clover instead of azalea (doesn,t it make them blow up or something? does boil =churn? not really.overall I liked the top a lot better than the bottom but not as smooth as usual/

jae 1:34 AM  

Medium seems right. Really liked LIKEICARE, unfortunately I had IDONTCARE. That plus CMON for DOIT made the NE tougher than it should have been. Nice Sat. challenge.

andrea carla miniski 2:29 AM  

Started with ESQUE which I credit Byron Walden for!

I'm starting to warm up to Barry, as this one DID speak: SQUEAL ON!
(tho I too tried "I don't CARE" and "as if I CARE")

BEATLE in singular seems iffy...
They very much "arrived" as an inseparable foursome, no? Especially then.

Only 28 black squares...and I could live with his usual sports pileup (ESPNZONE crossing ENOS, next to ACED over LINEDRIVE + MINISKI/PELE).

Kol NIDRE is a huge gimme for Jews, even twice a year ones.
For non-Jews, I would think that was nigh impossible without all the crosses.
(Insert usual joke about the irony of needing crosses to get the Hebrew answer)

Nice sprinkling of a couple of Zs, a few Ks, that Q up top, and the crazy WUPATKI (Wasn't he the governor of New York?)

So, looking for more unusual letters, I tried oxIDES before AMIDES...
and the hunt led to 36A "One way to be married" as "By proxY" which is a far cry from HAPPILY!

(That's what I get for being a single Scrabble Lady doing a crossword on a Friday night)

acme 2:32 AM  

oh s(&*t! Just realized @Rex already posted a pic of Pataki!
Didn't mean to step on your joke...

now to figure out who the smug guy with folded arms is...someone whose name sounds like TUZIGOOT?

r.alphbunker 3:21 AM  

Finished with no machine assistance other than the delete key. Had there been a delight key it would have been tapped quite a few times during the solve. For example, I loved the Frost at Midnight clue which put me in the wrong century by evoking Robert Frost and his horse. TURTLE would be a great name for a ballpoint pen which doesn't SMEAR. Was Ron Santos a rookie in 1956? "Eater" put me in a greasy spoon which usually doesn't have a HOSTESS which I associate with diners.

Maybe the Saturday Stumper will be a Silk also.

Clark 3:59 AM  

@syndy, @acme --

How can four show up without one showing up? Can’t be done. Funny how this TURNs UP from time to time. I remember way way back in confirmation class (catholic school) we were asked on a quiz whether it was true that "there are three gifts of the holy spirit." I, knowing full well that were seven such gifts, answered in the affirmative. I was marked down for this (given a SMEAR, so to speak), which I regarded as unfair. But I did learn that people fall into one or the other category when it comes to this sort of logical truth . . .

The Kol NIDRE is also well known to certain music lovers. Bruch and Schoenberg come to mind . . .

I enjoyed finishing a late week puzzle with no errors for a change.

davko 5:50 AM  

@ Andrea Carla:
Hear, hear to the singular Beatle -- it struck me as odd, too (albeit technically correct, I suppose).

Otherwise, a gratifying experience, loaded with traps and ruses that forced a lot of backtracking and exacted tolls for overconfidence. After blithely dropping SAFETY into 5D, for example, the NW almost came to a standstill, and it took a lot of help from my well-executed north and center before I finally gave way to the correct SETTER (a term I was convinced must have come from rugby before learning of its volleyball origins). Similarly, I inserted the laughable SKY COP for 30D before coming around to the less contrived -- and correct -- SKY CAM.

I'll give Barry a pass on Wupatki N.M. and all the others, too. Yes, they sound obscure and this one certainly isn't up there with the Statue of Liberty, Devil's Peak, and Monument Valley. But hey, it's a national treasure all the same, and anything so bequeathed by our Congress should be considered fair game.

imsdave 6:31 AM  

I tried to come up with a clever way to clue TURTLE as a singular musician, but failed. Reading about The Turtles did reveal an interesting factoid - their only #1 hit "Happy Together" replaced "Penny Lane" at the top of the charts. Coincidence?

Good workout, but not the beast I was expecting. Maybe I'm starting to get a better ear for Mr. Silk's cluing.

r.alphbunker 8:05 AM  

The linguist Grice coined the term implicature to describe what is suggested by an utterance as opposed to whether the utterance is true in the purely logical sense. At the heart of implicature is the assumption that a speaker wants to tell you everything that he/she knows. This a risky assumption to make when doing a Saturday puzzle. The BEATLE answer demonstrates this. For more examples of this phenomenon see wikipedia.

Joe 8:39 AM  

I remember the TUZIGOOT puzzle. It also had ILOILO. And they crossed! I remember being wicked pissed about that.

@andrea/acme - the smug guy is Tom Wopat. I'm guessing WUPATKI is Wopat and Pataki's love child...

@Rex - ...and Reince Priebus is their favorite nephew.

Ben Colder 8:54 AM  

Puzzle hard for me. I probably know more about Sheb Wooley than your average dude, but until looking him up this morning I did not know it is probably his voice on the Wilhelm scream.

The Bard 9:20 AM  

Twelfth Night > Act II, scene IV

DUKE ORSINO: What dost thou know?

VIOLA: Too well what love women to men may owe:
In faith, they are as true of heart as we.
My father had a daughter loved a man,
As it might be, perhaps, were I a woman,
I should your lordship.

DUKE ORSINO: And what's her history?

VIOLA: A blank, my lord. She never told her love,
But let concealment, like a worm i' the bud,
Feed on her damask cheek: she pined in thought,
And with a green and yellow melancholy
She sat like patience on a monument,
Smiling at grief. Was not this love indeed?
We men may say more, swear more: but indeed
Our shows are more than will; for still we prove
Much in our vows, but little in our love.

ArtLvr 9:21 AM  

I had to sleep on this one without much progress last night beyond LAID UP, but HAPPILY I was able to finish it with no hitches this morning. Lots to like, even SCALPS rather than Enamel covering a crown! Many thanks, Mr. Silk...


nanpilla 9:34 AM  

Putting in APT for the flat, and crossing it with PHILE for -like, really messed up the NW for quite some time. After finishing everything else, I just had to erase the corner and start over again.

@davko - embarrased to say I tried SKYCop first too!

quilter1 9:51 AM  

DNF but that's OK. I am proud of what I got, which was all but the NW. Got TURTLES, but had Apt for RES and that just stopped me there. Have not seen WUPATKI, but I've been to Tuzigoot and it is pretty awesome. Now to go bake our daily bread.
Drake vs Wichita tonight. Go Bulldogs.

Albert Hofmann 9:58 AM  

Far out man ! ACID and AMIDES in the same puzzle.

JD 10:00 AM  

NE took me as long as anything's taken me in a Saturday in ages. Just couldn't nail the right answers. Tried CMON/ASAP/STAT, tried SENSEI/MENTOR/MASTER, tried BARLEYS, tried BIB for "Food is tossed in it" (I liked that one), tried MOTRIN... just couldn't get anything to stick until MINISKI/BRIDLES sunk in. Then it fell in seconds.

retired_chemist 10:17 AM  

Challenging here. But I liked it.

Did anyone else consider (for a LOOONNNGGGG time) that the Arizona monument might refer to the USS Arizona and that it has somehow been joined by the USS Pueblo, or some symbol(s) therefrom (the Pueblo is still commissioned), at WAIKIKI? it was W____KI at that point.

Or that the growing part of the economy was the ECO-MARKET?

Didn't think so....

Plunked down EARL for the obscure Cabell, used the E, but had to talk myself out of it after a while. But I was thinking of EARL CAMPBELL, the Tyler Rose, NFL hall of famer and and poster boy for debilitating oneself in pro football.

Was so hung up on barbecue grilling that I stared blankly at ADMITIT after I was blessed by Mr. Happy Pencil, wondering what it was. D'oh....

Did plunk down AMIDES and Kol NIDRE w/o crosses, so my ego was salved somewhat. AREA RUGS was a (fortunately) brief visitor @ 29A. 37A was ROIL (a better answer IMO) until 37D was obviously BRITISH.

So, good job as usual. Mr. Silk. Thanks.

Glimmerglass 10:19 AM  

Well, it's Saturday after all. Finished, but with three wrong letters (not very unusual for me). I survived Wupataki and IloIlo. But not NIDRE (I'm kicking myself for not seeing T-MINUS) and BOIL (I had Boio, Toes, and GST). I thought Boio should have been Boyo, and I guess ALES and GSA were gettable, but I don't see why "chum" should be BOIL. "Bait" would work, but why "boil"?

nanpilla 10:24 AM  

@glimmerglass - it's churn, not chum.

@retired_chemist - I had ROIL first,too.

joho 10:28 AM  

Glad to see WUPATKI was the WOTD as it was mine, too. I'd like to visit there.

This was one of those puzzles I could just keeping chipping away at to ultimately, HAPPILY, end in success at which point ICRIED, IADMITIT, this was a GOODIDEA!

@andrea carla miniski ... it took me all the crosses to get the Hebrew, NIDRE!

PuzzleNut 10:30 AM  

Finished without any errors, which is always a good feeling on a Saturday. Started in the SW and moved counterclockwise. I was married HAstILY, but ended HAPPILY once I saw DAPPER.
My figs were dried, then SERED, and finally SEEDY. Not sure I ever actually ate a fig, so I can't confirm if they have seeds or not.
WUPATKI and NIDRE were not known to me, but easily confirmed by crosses. I suspect Mr. Silk could just as easily constructed the puzzle without these relatively obscure words, but then it probably wouldn't run on Saturday.
PS Add me to the rOIL list.

retired_chemist 10:37 AM  

My figs were FICAL, an adjective I made up for the genus ficus. Online dictionaries do not corroborate it....

Lindsay 10:38 AM  

Aaaaargh. I had 30D as SPYCAM, thinking of a camera on a spy satellite. Particularly annoying as I had assumed the answer would be SKY-something until the CAM part turned up. Wupatki sure wasn't any help on the crosses.

Writeover at 27A, where my figs were sweet, not seedy. Apparently the seeds are deleted before figs are made into newtons.

*** Miliceno = a very large number

David L 10:46 AM  

A bit harder than medium for me. Got held up in the NW, because I over-hastily typed in EPNSZONE, which made the cross with SQUEALON mightly puzzling until I saw the problem. Also had METEOR before SKYCAM, MAITRED before HOSTESS...

WUPATKI seems entirely wrong for a site connected to Pueblo culture. Maybe it was built by their Polish in-laws?

David L 10:48 AM  

Oh, and I had KEGS before ALES. You can tap a keg, but can ales be tapped? Doesn't seem quite right to me.

dk 10:49 AM  

I am in the roil group. Did not get my SCALPS as my brain clearly is not among the PLUSSIZES.

Acme, LOL on you not getting NIDRE as this WASP penned it in neatly after failing to recall yesterday's cross letters

WUPATAKI is a great stop and when in Flagstaff dine at Black Barts. The HOSTESS and wait staff are often students at an area music school and they will break into song at a moments notice. Operatic arias over beer - life is god.

Lots of cool fill. Only NETTLED by USEIT instead of sati.

*** (3 Stars)

JaxInL.A. 10:54 AM  

It was a'ight, as my daughter might say. Wish I liked it more. Perhaps it just wasn't my wavelength.  I made pretty much all of @ACME's mistakes, but don't have her skill at getting out of them. Then got completely stuck in the NE. Couldn't get past the confluence of ambiguity in that corner: minute as in tiny and minute as in unit of time? Stable stock as in barn? or stable stock as in Wall Street offering?  DNF. Other things to do today so came here to see which way the wind blew on those clues.

Enjoyed the Wopat/Pataki pix, though, and @Joe's bizarre reproductive speculation. Tom Wopat was one of two title characters in the Duke Of Hazard TV show which, heaven help me, I really liked at the time.  Hated the movie remake.

I really liked the "one way to be married" answer, perhaps because I feel blessed to be so. And damask always reminds me of my favorite poem about realistic love. Think I'll intrude on @TheBard's realm here with 

Sonnet CXXX 
My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips' red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damask'd, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground:
And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
As any she belied with false compare.

TimJim 10:57 AM  

I found this pretty easy. Finished in one sitting with no writeovers, unusual for a Saturday. No problem with Beatle -- each one arrived, right? Still, not a lot to love in this puzzle.

Neophyte 11:12 AM  

Still not sure about 5d (Passer and blocker's teammate) as SETTER. Is the reference to football? If so, "holder" (for a place kick) would be the term. Is it volleyball? Then "bumper" or "spiker" should probably be used instead of "passer" in the clue. Is it another sport? I dunno.

Daryl 11:24 AM  

Passer is from volleyball, and from what I remember plus Googling it seems like an entirely legit term.

Fairly easy puzzle - got some good crosses from wrong answers. Had PESOS instead of RESTS at first, but got ESPN ZONE from that. Put down WANT ADS, PELE, and AMIDES without crosses. Any football (okay soccer) fans knows about Santos and Pele in the 1950s, just before he burst on the world stage in the 1958 World Cup in Sweden. Agree that WUPATKI and ILOILO were too obscure.

Aleman 11:38 AM  

Ale and beer come in kegs. You "Tap" them to get to the magic elixirs.

retired_chemist 11:52 AM  

@ David L. - The WUPATKIs are actually from Kraków. You are thinking of the MINISKIs.

syndy 11:55 AM  

Figs have plenty of seeds but they are like stawberry seeds in that you eat them up and the figgy in the newtons is indeed seedy!

Glimmerglass 11:59 AM  

Thanks, Nanpilla. Reading "rn" as "m" has happened to me before, with other xwords as well as the [printed] NYT. I guess it's a function of my old eyes. BOIL isn't exactly "churn" either (I like your "roil" better), but at least it's reasonable.

Two Ponies 12:26 PM  

The NW killed me. With the mini-Brit theme I was certain that 1A was coins. They say notes for bills and I had some Genesis lyrics going in my head. I confirmed coins(wrongly) with Inform On. If ESPN Zone had been in my radar it would have been so much easier. I also was considering deviled as a cooking term.
That corner ended up looking like an ink blot test.
Welcome back @ dk.

OISK 12:37 PM  

Lost some time by writing meteor instead of skycam for "overhead shooter", but got the SW corner last. Finished without errors, a relief after my DNF last Saturday. Liked this puzzle a lot - very little pop culture, no rappers. Amides, electrodes, nidre, no problem for a Jewish chemist. Never heard of "Aveo" though. Where I live it is the street after "Ave P"...

Anonymous 12:39 PM  

Wupatki appears in Easy Rider. Hopper, Fonda and friend are seen in the twilight there. And there's several shots of them driving thru the lava fields to get there. Well worth the trip. Krazy Kat kountry as well.

Rob. E. Eeler

Toggle 1:45 PM  

Finished in one sitting. No errors, no Googles. Took forever, but LIKE I CARE. I'm doin' Saturdays now, thanks to this blog.

@Andrea, also thought one way to be married, off the Y, was BY PROXY and felt so proud of myself! I still am, seeing that someone whose cleverness I greatly admire had the same idea! Fotunately I am lucky enough to be so HAPPILY married that my husband, when I told him about this puzzle, didn't mind that that wasn't my first association with marriage. Hand up also for AS IF I CARE and I DONT CARE. This non-Jewish secular humanist put in NIDRE with no crosses. Helps that I love music as well as my Jewish husband! Loved the puzzle too!

@dk, OMG, is Black Bart's still there? Is he still serving his Weeds "n" Leaves salad with every main because he ain't too good with 'rithmatic? Stopped there as a kid with my family decades ago on the way to gorgeous, evocative Wupatki and never forgot either place.

Kingdaddy 1:59 PM  

This was a great puzzle -- if you were 90 years old. Patti Page? A rookie from the 50s? Enos Cabell? E-commerce is a great new development?

What really frosts my pumpkin, though, is the increased reliance on abbreviations. Are there not enough words in the English language to fill out a crossword puzzle? I looked at some older puzzles, and whaddaya know, they weren't full of answers like RES, DESC, GSA, and EEOC. Not as many of these today as you usually see, but every abbreviation feels like a poke in the eye.

mitchs 2:14 PM  

On the challenging side here. First long entry was SKYCAM with no crosses and that got me...nowhere for a long time. Hand up for rOIL.

Thought WUPATKI was okay because it was gettable from the crosses. What other have said about BEATLE. Was it called JFK then? Hmmm, 1964?

Henry Shapiro 2:21 PM  

I may just be being picky here, but why is there an apostrophe on "Notes' counterpart"? That actually threw me off -- I kept saying to myself "is there some person in a duo named Notes"?

Ruby 2:40 PM  

Funny. I took some AMIDES with Wopat once.

I skip M-W 3:36 PM  

got it correct w/no cheating after a record long time.
from the i, got Anasazi for what turned out to be wupatki. lived around Pueblos and in Ariz both but never heard of Wupatki. Remember Patti Page, but not for this song. Hung up for a long time on some mate of Frosty the Snowman. Sports-themed restaurant? A place to avoid, I would guess.
@ Puzzlenut but don't avoid figs, try a fresh one if you can find it. NO, don't, that will only make them harder to find.
wityran = captcha, not so witty, went slowly

mac 3:46 PM  

Very good but for me very tough puzzle. Had monoski, deltas for the bifurcations, and coins at 1A.

I wonder: can we argue that the crown is on top of the scalp?

All I can say is: I learned an awful lot today...

Idlewild: JFK was assassinated in November 1963, and that same year the airport was renamed.

Jenny 3:57 PM  

@Lindsay: Ditto SpYCAM. Since every letter of 32A went in from crosses, I didn't even stop to think about the P. Blah.

retired_chemist 4:00 PM  

@ Henry Shapiro - Notes' needs the apostrophe because it is a possessive. RESTS are the counterparts of notes in music. IMO it should not cause confusion.

chefwen 4:13 PM  

This one was an over night challenge for me. Got the majority done last night but the southwest corner had me stumped. Finally sorted it out this A.M., but it took two of us with a few Googles added to the mix.
Overall, really liked this one.

Rex, I usually donate to the blog every year around your birthday. This year I missed it due to travel, so I will donate this year on my birthday. I hope the Packers will bless me with a day early present. Go Pack!!!

New Yorker 5:08 PM  

Rex, why do you have a picture of former governor George Pataki illustrating this puzzle?

michael 5:22 PM  

Had eeoe instead of eeoc which cost me four letters until I googled eeoe. Wupatki (which I sorta knew) seems as fair as the various NYC stuff found in puzzles. All in all, a typical Saturday ("medium" in Rexspeak) Saturday.

Bill James, the baseball stat guru, goes on at great length in one of his books about the limitations of Enos Cabell. This is a really obscure clue for all but the most lunatic baseball fans. First thing I filled in...

retired_chemist 5:24 PM  

While you are at it, Rex, tell us how a callow youth like you knows Sheb Wooley, whose 1958 Purple people eater was AFAIK the only song of note he ever recorded? If I remember rightly, you would have been about negative twenty in 1958.

CoffeeLvr 5:31 PM  

Fellow Rexites, I am taking a virtual bow this afternoon, as today is the first Saturday puzzle ever completed correctly with no assistance.

So I knew in advance that Rex would rate it as "Easy." The only total unknown for me was ILOILO, but I like it's repetition. Knew the prayer was Kol N?DRE, so got the first vowel from the cross. I haven't (yet) been to WUPATKI, but gradually recognized it. Held on to sadDLES for far too long, but it finally fell.

JaxInL.A. 5:36 PM  

@New Yorker,
Sometimes Rex likes to play with the sounds of words in the puzzle and post pix that are not direct illustrations, but jokes or comments. Word of the day was WUPATKI which is strange to the ears. Tom Wopat's name has some of the sounds. Gov. Pataki's name has some of the sounds. For the comment of someone who got the joke, see @Andrea 2:29 and @ACME 2:32, and best of all @Joe 8:39.

sanfranman59 6:04 PM  

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 7:32, 6:55, 1.09, 83%, Challenging
Tue 8:16, 8:54, 0.93, 37%, Easy-Medium
Wed 10:36, 11:44, 0.90, 30%, Easy-Medium
Thu 16:12, 19:00, 0.85, 24%, Easy-Medium
Fri 23:40, 26:11, 0.90, 33%, Easy-Medium
Sat 34:33, 30:34, 1.13, 81%, Challenging

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:50, 3:41, 1.04, 69%, Medium-Challenging
Tue 4:27, 4:34, 0.97, 48%, Medium
Wed 5:31, 5:47, 0.96, 41%, Medium
Thu 7:50, 9:09, 0.86, 30%, Easy-Medium
Fri 11:15, 12:50, 0.88, 27%, Easy-Medium
Sat 18:25, 17:25, 1.06, 74%, Medium-Challenging

Look up Guy 7:05 PM  


Sheb Wooley aka Ben Colder singles
incl Country / Pop chart ratings

1955 "Are You Satisfied" — 95
1958 "Purple People Eater" — 1
1959 "Sweet Chile" — 70
1962 "That's My Pa" 1 51
1963 "Hello Wall No. 2" 30 131
1964 "Blue Guitar" 33
1966 "I'll Leave the Singin' to the Bluebirds" 34
"Almost Persuaded No. 2" (as Ben Colder) 6 58
"Tonight's the Night My Angel's Halo Fell" 70
1968 "Tie a Tiger Down" 22
Harper Valley P.T.A. (Later That Same Day)" (as Ben Colder) 24 67
1969 "Little Green Apples No. 2" (as Ben Colder) 65 —
"I Remember Loving You" 52 —
"The One Man Band" 63
1970 "Big Sweet John" (as Ben Colder) — —
1971 "Fifteen Beers Ago" (as Ben Colder) 50 —

RumPudge 8:22 PM  

I was stuck in SW with chefwen, plus some misery in 1st clue - maybe I'm more studious than musical, as I assumed that all Notes lead to TESTS. What does RES refer to, btw? (This'll merit a forehead smack, I'm betting...?)
Down in the SW, I was pretty sure of LIDON for the non-release clue - i.e., keep a lid on it --finally peeked at Rex's solve to get SITON and TURNUP. So it's really a DNF for me... at least, not without help in that corner.

fergus 9:17 PM  

I got bogged down because I married HASTILY, and thus was Out of Action and not Smart.

The 3 ITs seemed very unSilk-ESQUE.

PlantieBea 9:35 PM  

After what seems like forever I finished this puzzle. Had to look up NIDRE and AVEO in the process. The biggest stumper for me was the grilling demand for which I wanted something to do with meat. ADMIT IT was a real groaner. Cruise side trips: somehow I imagined them to be excursions into a tropical paradise. What an sad eye-opener to see what Nassau is. GO PACKERS! And Happy Birthday ChefWen!!

fergus 10:12 PM  

Yeah, for that Grilling demand I first had ADD SALT.

shrub5 11:28 PM  

@RumPudge: RES = residence

Chalk this one up as a DNF. I decided to look up the clues leading to WUPATKI, ILOILO and NIDRE, being too impatient to see if I could eventually get them. For 35D "they're often tapped", I initially put ATMS before ALES.

Enjoyed this and learned a lot.

uncle moishy 12:36 AM  

Hello everyone. I've been coming to this blog on and off ever since I first discovered it (I googled an obscure answer -- can't remember what, only that it was an obscure Broadway show tune -- and your discussion of it on the blog was the 1st listing returned). Anyhow I never felt compelled to comment until today, for 2 reasons:
1) Like RumPudge above, I don't understand RES as the answer to 1D.
2) I vacationed in northern Arizona (Sedona mostly) in late October and still never heard of Wupatki. There are 3 main routes from Flagstaff to the Grand Canyon. We took one going and one coming -- still no Wupatki. One more reason to return (only there 4 days; tons left to see). Will check the map after I publish this comment.

andrea like I care-la michaels 12:38 AM  

WAY TO GO!!!!!!!!!!!!

@look up guy
So, Sheb Wooley got sheared and became Ben Colder?

william e emba 3:03 PM  

Which BEATLE was the first to step off the plane at JFK?

Leah 4:32 PM  

A "Mudder" (54 D) is a racehorse that does well in those conditions and when he fathers future racehorses, he is called the "sire" ...perhaps they ran on track near Alan Sheman's summercamp!

aleph1=c? 5:02 PM  

Can't believe it! Had BEAgLE (did Darwin land in NY?) and wondered what about beagles made then particularly British. All because of WUPAgKI. Doh!

fikink 8:03 PM  

Congrats, @CoffeeLvr!
I thought this was difficult - in fact, it took me two days to finish it, just kept walking away and coming back.
In the ROIL crowd, and like @retired_chemist, played around on an AREA RUG for a bit. With @Two Ponies, the NW was the last to fall.

BobbyF 9:38 PM  

This one started out very easy and got progressively more challenging as I worked my way down. “Exec’ and ‘ipse’ were difficult to come by mainly because I attached ‘robin’ to fly catcher. Finally, I latched onto ‘resin’ and was able to resolve that time-consuming section. Very innovative punning by Joon, and, for me, quite challenging and fun.

BigSteve46 12:24 PM  

Didn't get around to this until Monday. Nice puzzle, with but one quibble. Even though I was able to get the right answer with crosses... I keep a comprehensive, 192-page, 11" xs 15" Rand McNally TODAY'S WORLD Atlas near my reading chair at all times: neither Panay Gulf nor answer Ilo Ilo was in it! That's a little bit too obscure to be reasonable - even for a Saturday! Just my 2 cents ...

BigSteve46 12:29 PM  

I went off too soon - correction!! Iloilo is in the Index - I was looking for a 2-word city (Ilo Ilo)- and Panay Gulf is on the map but not in the Index.

Waxy in Montreal 7:38 PM  

Following his singing heyday, Sheb Wooley had a recurring role in Rawhide along with the very young Clint Eastwood.

Must have watched way too much baseball back in the day as ENOS Cabell was an immediate gimme. Not to be confused with Enos "Country" Slaughter who played a generation before him.


Anonymous 10:58 PM  

After 20 minutes I had exactly 2 solid answers (gmail, useit) and was at a total loss.

But little by little I chipped away, and finally got it with no errors. A testament to stick-to-it-iveness (and willingness to spend an infinite amount of time on something that goes straight into the trash the instant it's done. Again. I'm either staving off Alzheimer's, or wasting my life for nothing).

JZ 12:09 AM  

With MI----- waiting for me on the bunny slope, I thought for sure it would be MITTENS. Whoops.

Also, despite living in Arizona for 18 years, I had never heard of WUPATKI.

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