Vancouver Island city for which a chocolate treat is named / WED 12-28-22 / Brit who wrote "The Vanishing Half" / "Rule" stating that the number of transistors per microchip doubles every two years / Compser Schumann

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Constructor: Josh Goodman

Relative difficulty: Easy-ish (felt pretty fast for me, but it was also straight in my wheelhouse)

THEME: Once, Twice, er... Two Times a Lady 53A - With 60-Across institution in which 19-, 25- and 37-Across are (thus far) the only three women ever to be inducted twice

Word of the Day: NANAIMO (12D: Vancouver Island city for which a chocolate treat is named)
Nanaimo (/nəˈnm/ nə-NY-moh) is a city on the east coast of Vancouver Island, in British ColumbiaCanada. As of the 2021 census, it had a population of 99,863,[2] and it is known as "The Harbour City." The city was previously known as the "Hub City," which was attributed to its original layout design, whose streets radiated from the shoreline like the spokes of a wagon wheel, and to its central location on Vancouver Island.[4][5] Nanaimo is the headquarters of the Regional District of Nanaimo. (wikipedia)


The Nanaimo bar /nəˈnm/ is a bar dessert that requires no baking and is named after the Canadian city of Nanaimo in British Columbia.[1] It consists of three layers: a wafer, nut (walnuts, almonds, or pecans), and coconut crumb base; custard icing in the middle; and a layer of chocolate ganache on top. (wikipedia) 

• • •
Hey everyone, it's Eli back for another day of fun (and apparently your second day in a row be a Liverpool fan)! I'm spending a rare rainy few days in LA catching up on some of the movies I missed in the last year - Glass Onion, Bros, RRR, Top Gun Maverick, and Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe. It's a pretty eclectic mix, but I actually liked all of them quite a lot. Today's puzzle appears to be the NYT debut for Josh Goodman, and according to his Twitter bio he's also remixed the Comedy Bang Bang plug bag theme 3 times, so he's good people in my book (#OhNo). 

As for the puzzle itself, I think I enjoyed it. The fill stretches thin in a few places, but it's a lot of theme to fit in for a Wednesday. By its very nature, the puzzle has a lot of proper nouns, which I know can throw some people off, but the trivia head in me has never really minded. 

Theme answers:
  • TINA TURNER (19A: As part of a performing duo in 1991; as a solo artist in 2021)

  • STEVIE NICKS (25A: As part of a band in 1998; as a solo artist in 2019)

  • CAROLE KING (37A: As part of a songwriting duo in 1990; as a solo artist in 2021)

  • ROCK AND ROLL (53A: With 60-Across institution in which 19-, 25- and 37-Across are (thus far) the only three women ever to be inducted twice)
  • HALL OF FAME (60A: See 53-Across)
Regarding the theme, I guess my only question is, "Why now?" This year's induction ceremony was almost 2 months ago. If you're going to run something that feels like a tribute or event puzzle, I'm going to look for a reason. Ah well. At least it's a tight group of themers and a good excuse to post some great music. Tina Turner and Carole King also have had biographical jukebox musicals on Broadway, but not Stevie Nicks (what a story that could be). I digress.

I said above that the puzzle was easy-ish, but looking back over it to blog, I'm seeing a few things that would have tripped me up if I had noticed them at all while solving. I know I already highlighted it above, both in the title and the word of the day, but Nanaimo is a complete blank for me. Don't know the city, don't know the treat. It's fun to learn! I also didn't know BENNET (47A: Brit who wrote "The Vanishing Half"), and looking her up I was surprised to learn that her NAME is Brit and that she's actually American. That's some really solid cluing, assuming you know the name.

Getting back to movies of the year, Weird Al went to Cal State Poly in San Luis OBISPO (6A) and wrote a song about it before he had made a name for himself:

The "biopic" WEIRD was one of the silliest things I've ever seen, and I loved every minute of it. Daniel Radcliffe deserves an Oscar for his commitment to the bit. Also, Janelle MONAE (67A) was in Glass Onion, and she was fantastic in it, as one might expect. Pretty sure I highlighted her last time I blogged here, too.

Hey, look! I'm in the grid! ELI (51A: Former Giants QB Manning). One of my goals in life is to be prominent enough to become a new cluing option. I have a ways to go. 

Overall,  this felt like a solid debut puzzle, bearing the heavy burden of trying to figure out what a Wednesday puzzle should be. I think you have Rafa here tomorrow, but I'll be back again on Friday. See you all then!

Signed, Eli Selzer, False Dauphin of CrossWorld

[Follow Eli Selzer on Twitter]


Conrad 5:22 AM  

I agree, Eli. Good, solid Wednesday. My only overwrite was STILe before STILT for the "Leg up" at 21A. Defensible? Maybe. NANAIMO and BENNETT were WOEs but fairly crossed or inferable.

Joaquin 5:22 AM  

Well, this is impressive. Per the notes on Wordplay, this puzzle - a NYT debut - was conceived, developed, and finalized in one day. Nice job, Mr. Goodman, and nice backstory, too.
And a great puzzle - fun, informative, and just enough of a challenge for a Wednesday. An all-around winner! Plus a fun review from Eli.

Anonymous 6:12 AM  

When I finished this I laughed. Not only is the theme PPP, but so is every nook and cranny of it! This won’t go over well with some of the regular readers of this blog.

Wanderlust 6:53 AM  

Hey ELI. I always thought Fleetwood Mac should have one of those rock musicals on Broadway about them, with all the drama in that band. Sad that STEVIE NICKS’ bandmate and friend Christine McVie died suddenly last month.

Love all three women featured in the puzzle, so this was fun. None of them are known for their BASS NOTES. I am trying to think of another woman who should be in the Hall as part of a band and as a solo artist. I’m kind of surprised Diana Ross isn’t. What about CLARA Schumann with and without her husband? :-)

Janelle MONAE is as talented an actress as she is a singer/songwriter. Hope she gets am Oscar nomination for Glass Onion, one of the few movies I’ve seen this year. With JANE ADDAMS and Susan G KOMEN and other women here, it might have been nice to try to take out the men and make it an ALL STAR female puzzle. It would be hard to take out ABRAHAM.

kitshef 7:06 AM  

Lots of bonus thematic stuff today with BASS NOTES, ABBA, MONAE, TENOR, CLARA. Would have liked to see SCANDAL clued thematically, also, but oh well.

Also surprising number of WoEs for a Wednesday with NANAIMO (in either use), ITALIANATE, BENNETT, IRENE, CLARA (again); and BERNESE and KOMEN only very vaguely familiar.

Surely, knowing that you only live once is a reason for caution, not rashness. Kill or maim yourself in this life and that’s it – no do-overs. But if you know you have three lives in reserve, then okay you can waste one.

Bob Mills 7:20 AM  

Never heard of STEVIENICKS, but the crosses were fairly easy, and I knew TINATURNER and CAROLEKING.

I enjoyed the puzzle, even though I found it easy. One nitpick...I don't think the clue for ENABLES is precisely right. "Makes possible" is better than "gives permission." Something can be enabled even if it isn't permitted.

Lewis 7:27 AM  

Immediate induction into the PuzzPair© Hall of Fame: AN ODE and URN.

pabloinnh 7:32 AM  

A little trouble parsing the "as" parts of the clues, but the names were obvious, as were the ROCKANDROLL and HALLOFFAME answers and all became clear.

Didn't know MOORESLAW, which I guess is not related to COLESLAW, and apologies to our Canadian members here but I'll invoke the "today years old" expression for when I first heard of NANIMO.

I guess I haven't looked at a Monopoly board in a long time, as STJAMES took far too long, and the I also remembered that we're meeting up with old friends the St. James family for lunch this week. Could be a memory glitch caused by my jam-packed social calenda, if I had a social calendar.

With all the outstanding women featured in this one, it took a while to come up with LEONINE, which I think of as masculine, but this may be my fault.

Overall a nice smooth effort although I found some of the cluing a little straightforward for a Wednesday. Congrats on the NYT debut, JG. Jolly Good show, and thanks for all the fun.

Anonymous 7:35 AM  

I disagree. This puzzle felt like a Monday. And the theme… while I love the artists mentioned, it just felt like “oh…hm” trivia. The idea behind it is fairly dry. And the revealer? For taking up so much room on the grid, it’s probably the easiest answer to get, which I did without any crosses. The clues for the rest of the puzzle were so simple it felt a little insulting. “Pop group whose name is also a rhyme scheme” is the one that sticks out the most. I didn’t have a single hang up except maybe for a few seconds at MOORESLAW, which was inferable with enough crosses. I liked JANE ADDAMS only because I’m a social worker, but again, the answer went straight in without any crosses.

Son Volt 7:55 AM  

TV Guideish and trivia laden. Why - when your theme is a tribute to three musicians do you think inserting additional trivia into the fill is a good idea? I liked ITALIANATE.

Not for me.

The Crystals

Lewis 8:01 AM  

There were things I didn’t know, such as ITALIANATE, BENNETT, NANAIMO, and SEO, which made solving the puzzle sweeter, but another answer I didn’t know is what I’m most taking away from this puzzle, and what I’m most grateful to have run across: JANE ADDAMS.

After solving, I read the Wikipedia article on her, and found her story and accomplishments to be incredibly inspiring, the embodiment of greatness. My jaw actually dropped as I continued to read it, and I grew amazed and embarrassed that she was off my radar. I’ll just say this: If you don’t know much about Jane Addams, I believe it will be well worth your time to at least read the Wikipedia article on her.

Josh, you made me smile, thinking about the three musical stars, thinking about your accomplishment of a NYT puzzle debut, and your back story (from your notes) of how crosswords were integral to you meeting the woman you’re engaged to. I’m also impressed with how you threw this delightful puzzle together in a single day. But a special thanks for throwing Jane Addams into the grid, which made your puzzle extra special for me.

Anonymous 8:05 AM  

I've never heard of SEO before. Curious if it's really a common thing, but it was a shot in the dark to me. I also didn't know how to spell CAROLE, I thought maybe that last E was a middle initial, so this was almost a Natick for me. Got lucky guessing E!

JHC 8:12 AM  

I'm going to seize this opportunity to share my favorite music trivia question. TINA TURNER used to hold the record for the longest amount of time between an artist's first #1 hit (Proud Mary) and their second (What's Love Got to Do With It). Her record was broken by a woman whose first #1 was *also* a duet with her then-husband in the 60's, and whose second was post-messy divorce as a solo artist more than two decades later.

Can you name the current record-holder and both songs?

Barbara S. 8:50 AM  

I’m a fan of the three musicians, and a fan of this puzzle. PPP knowledge varies wildly from solver to solver, but I was able to fill in all three names easily with few crosses, even though I didn’t initially know what the clues meant. I liked seeing Janelle Monáe as another female rocker/rapper, one of the few contemporary musicians I know. (Although I did spell her name with a terminal “I” at first – oops! – I didn’t look at the down clue and assumed YIN was half of YIN-Yang.)

At 1A I thought, Great, both DALAI and Llama have 5 letters. But 1D DER gave it to me -- my one course in German pays off again. The ITALIANATE style in architecture did indeed originate in England, sometimes called Renaissance Revival. I think John Nash pioneered it in the early 19th century. [Looking it up…] Yup. The earliest ITALIANATE building is said to be Nash’s Cronkhill (1902-07), inspired by a specific painting, Claude Lorrain’s Landscape near Rome with a View of the Ponte Molle. This pairing of building and painting is part of a fascinating history of art's giving impetus to things in the real world – architecture, landscape design, fashion, among others

Well, if I’d ever made a list of things I never expected to see in The New York Times Crossword Puzzle, NANAIMO would have been prominent. Why would NANAIMO have been there at all? you ask. Because it's my birthplace! Tee-Hee! NANAIMO (and my mother) may have given me life, but I didn’t grow up there. We moved to Vancouver when I was 4, and then out of British Columbia when I was 7, so my formative years were spent elsewhere. But one’s place of birth always holds special significance, even if only symbolic. I know NANAIMO began as a coal-mining town, but the coal seams had long been played out by the time my family lived there. Interesting that the population is now close to 100,000. I think it was more like 20,000 in our day. We were there because my father was a fisheries scientist working at the Pacific Biological Station at Departure Bay. We had no relatives in NANAIMO – we were there solely because of my father’s work – so I’ve never had anyone or anything to draw me back. I remember our street and our house and our yard (with the Mill Stream at the back), and the only memory of downtown NANAIMO I have is The Bastion, a nineteenth-century blockhouse constructed by the Hudson Bay Co. to defend its commercial interests! (Was that going a bit far?) It was distinctive, even to a little kid, because it was stark white and eight-sided and visible from anywhere in the center of town. I had a wooden model that was about 6 inches high (which I loved). I see from the article that the Bastion has been moved and largely rebuilt since my day. I’m glad to know it’s in good repair and still stands guard over the city and the harbor.

As for NANAIMO Bars – my mother made them, my sister makes them and I’ve made more of them than I could possibly count. I’ve even adapted the recipe in recent years to accommodate my various odd dietary restrictions. As for the exact relationship between the city of NANAIMO and NANAIMO bars, I haven’t a clue. My cousin was once offered one at the house of a friend who called them “Winnipeg Dainties,” so maybe the NANAIMO bar handle is not universal. (Although Canadian city names do seem to be mandatory.)

[SB: Christmas Day, 0 (on a huge list) – yay!
Boxing Day, -1. Missed this absolutely ridiculous word. (Sam Ezersky, can we talk?)
Yd, 0.]

andrew 8:51 AM  

Way way way too many names for an enjoyable Wednesday, Though the concept was alright enough and congrats to a constructor’s debut.

But his write up in xwordinfo of the “glaring gender imbalance in the list (23 men vs. 3 women)” of the double inductees is a bit overly woke for me. R&R is an overwhelmingly male dominant field and has been since its inception! Not every field is equally represented and Halls of Fame are not meant to award on the basis of equity.

Do you really think the 23 to 3 gender ratio is due to innate sexism of the voters? Should Carly Simon ALSO have been dually inducted last year as part of the Simon Sisters, to reduce the glaring imbalance?

MarkK 8:56 AM  

That NE was tricky! NANAIMO isn't very common outside of Canada and a tricky spell if you're only somewhat familiar with the treat or the town, AVERRED has fallen sharply in usage, and BERNESE, to my ears at least, is too close to Burmese and, again to me, quite prone to variants in spelling and misspelling. I struggled with the pun for AVE at first, so yeah, this is where I struggled a bit. Amused by the look of TRYFOR and TOOFAR right next to each other. And more than once after filling, ATE AT read to me as AT EAT, causing me to re-read the clue to see what was going on.

MarkK 9:01 AM  

Good trivia JHC. The artist and later #1 song are fairly easy, but the earlier #1 is much more challenging. Is it T*** M* H*** by C***?

Dr.A 9:04 AM  

Way too many proper names i never heard of and crossing right and left all over the place. Moore’s law was a blank, Jane Addams was a blank (but I’m glad to learn about her), the Island./treat was a blank too. I have read the Vanishing half thankfully and it’s a great one, Highly recommend it.

Greater Fall River Committee for Peace & Justice 9:04 AM  

Clue on 2D was weird. 'To the stars' would have been plenty, with or without (Lat.); what possible use was it to go on about the sci-fi film I had never heard of? And why would chords require (in 32A) that the lowest pitch be in the bass range?

J.W. 9:17 AM  

I thought this one was Monday-easy. In my wheelhouse, I guess.

Anonymous 9:18 AM  

Gotta be Cher. As for the songs, how about I got You Babe and If I Could Turn Back Time?

Anonymous 9:22 AM  

Since the theme involves people's names, I would have preferred fewer names / proper nouns in the rest of the fill.

Anonymous 9:23 AM  

Not to be that guy but YOU’VE NEVER HEARD OF STEVIE NICKS!?

Anonymous 9:27 AM  

Wasn’t enjoyable solve for me but surely a goldmine for people who like the proper—name types. What magazine published that page of photos of famous pairs and one was President Eisenhower next to Tina Turner?

Anonymous 9:29 AM  

@Greater River .... - The lowest note is referred to as the BASSNOTE. It needn't be in any specific tonal range.

Gary Jugert 9:30 AM  

Seems kinda dopey to induct people twice, but when has the rock and roll hall of fame ever been accused of wisdom?

I love how OBISPO jumps out of my brain. Why that sticks and yet none of the TV stars ever linger in my noggin is the sadness of my life in crosswords.

RASTA seems made-up like so many other religious-y things. I doubt I'll ever understand.

Couldn't remember ST. JAMES on the Monopoly board since it's been decades since I last played. Used to love it.

BASSNOTES has ASS hiding in it. Hence its retrieval from the slush pile.

We watched Janelle MONAE in Glass Onion just last night, even though I couldn't have told you her name. I think I remember her as a singer. Anyway, she was great in the movie and even though the script is thin, it was a fun romp.

Took every cross to build NANAIMO since I'd never heard of the town or the treat, but both look delicious.


1 Hop around entertaining the tourists with a Gimpy Statue of Liberty routine hoping to make enough to replace your 2x4 with something designed for the job.
2 Quietly study the lyrics and realize the song you loved in high school was pretty dumb.
3 Actress Janelle demands her brew.
4 The plan of every baritone ever.


Gary Jugert 9:30 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wanderlust 9:31 AM  

I think I know the artist but not necessarily the songs. Don’t want to guess here so others can try. You’ll post the answer later?

RooMonster 9:31 AM  

Hey All !
Yes on tough NE. Yes on a lot of PPP. Yes on taking too long to remember ST JAMES. Yes on finishing error free! Which I found amazing. Ended at MOORES LAW, which was a guess, albeit a logical one, with the Downs helping. Well, except for SEO.

Surprised when the Happy Music played. Had some writeovers, oNe-ANA, BAritOnES-BASSNOTES, ozS-MLS.

16 wide grid, in case you didn't notice. I did right away, which is my primer for the ole brain still functioning!

34 Blockers, low for a 15x15, really low for a 16x15. Why I care about Blocker stats is a mystery. It does get you more puz for the money. Or for the MONAE.

Could you tell someone - Get the HALL OFF A ME!

Two F's

Darryll 9:32 AM  

@Andrew - Commenting here, about an innocuous comment the constructor made elsewhere, as being "a bit overly woke" is (more that a bit) overly 'anti-woke' for me.

BobL 9:36 AM  

It is Cher

Whatsername 9:46 AM  

Thanks Eli. Nice writeup today.

I was blown away buy this dynamite puzzle. Then, totally gob smacked to learn it was a debut which was written and submitted in one day. Holy BLINI! That’s impressive. I was a little put off by the theme clues and all the proper names at first but so worth it. Actually a bit disappointed that Jeff C did not call it puzzle of the week.

A pretty awesome feat honoring these three formidable performers. It had never occurred to me that anyone – male or female – would be honored more than once in such a capacity. I’m a little too old for STEVIE NICKS but of course TINA TURNER is legendary in my generation and CAROLE KING memorable for Tapestry, among her many accomplishments. Also a nice touch to include JANE ADDAMS and Susan KOMAN, as well as the other ladies of NOTE.

Thank you Josh. This one is going in my own personal crossword HALL OF FAME. And congratulations on your engagement. May you and Talia share a long happy life solving crosswords together. I look forward to the result of your next moment of inspiration.

Anonymous 9:58 AM  

I loved the theme and zipped through the theme answers but had trouble with some fill. Never heard of Moore’s Law or SEO and it would have been fun to have more music references there.

Joseph Michael 10:02 AM  

I set out to do a crossword puzzle and ended up in a trivia game.

kitshef 10:14 AM  

@JHC - I think I know the artist and songs you want, but only if there is something unclear in the way you phrased it. You call the later song their "second", and it reads as if that was their second #1 hit. But the person had several other number one songs, all in the '70s, between the '60s hit with then-husband and the much-later hit - if it's the person I'm thinking of.

Anonymous 10:16 AM  

Nice uplifting, entertaining review Eli. Thanks!

Gary Jugert 10:24 AM  

@Greater Fall River Committee for Peace & Justice 9:04 AM
The lowest note in a chord is called the bass note no matter where it falls pitch wise. If you're playing a chord all the way to the right on a piano, the lowest note is still called the bass note even though it's above the treble clef. Often the bass note is the same note as the name of the chord and then it's also called a root note.

TTrimble 10:43 AM  

Speaking of recognized female musicians, LEONINE reminded me of Leontyne Price, who will be 96 this upcoming February. I don't know much about opera or its celebrated stars, but speaking of inspiring women (hi @Lewis and thanks for the rec), her story is fascinating and well worth reading.

An interesting collection of words, including NANAIMO (never heard of it) and ITALIANATE, which actually makes me think of calligraphy more than architecture. Here, check this out, particularly the section "Different countries, different styles" where they sketch some of the evolution from the Italian Hand to the English Round Hand. Fan-cee!

Of the three women celebrated in the puzzle, CAROLE KING is my favorite, by a long chalk. Her album Tapestry will simply never grow old for me. The same cannot be said of Rumours I'm afraid, which I and every other kid I knew bought at the time and listened to over and over. Familiarity has bred contempt in this case. I now rather prefer Fleetwood Mac's earlier stuff, from before Rumours exploded on the scene. I do like STEVIE NICKS's voice, and lyrical sensibility as a solo artist. TINA TURNER I don't know all that well; I guess I sort of respect her from afar, but I'm willing to be educated by those more knowledgeable.

The ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME kind of annoys me. It can take them a very long time to offer grudging respect to whole genres (I'm thinking now of progressive rock) and the incredible musicians who work within them. Anyhoo...

SB: after a few days of just barely missing QB, finally got there yesterday. The day before yesterday: hoo boy, some unusual words there.

Carola 10:44 AM  

Add me to the fans of the artists and the puzzle, including the eye-opening (to me) reveal. Like others, I appreciated the inclusion of other women ALL STARS from various realms (CLARA, MONAE, JANE ADDAMS, KOMEN, IRENE) and the parallel placment of ASTRA and STARS. A PITY that we couldn't have had LEONtyNE instead of LEONINE.

Help from previous puzzles: YOLO. Help from untold hours reading food blogs: NANAIMO. No idea: SEO, ST. JAMES.

Beezer 10:46 AM  

Count me in with the folks that really enjoyed this puzzle but I know it was the fact it was totally in my PPP wheelhouse. Like @pabloinnh TIL NANAIMO and luckily the crosses helped me with THAT.

I’m not sure a Stevie Nicks biopic will be out soon because, well, I suspect she and Lindsay Buckingham are currently content to NOT broadcast the details of that ill-fated love affair.

Also, I have to sing the praises of the very talented Janelle MONAE. Man. For a woman who seems somewhat soft spoken, she is amazingly eclectic with her albums…going from somewhat traditional to her alter-ego Cindi Mayweather productions.

I join in with @Dr A in recommending Brit BENNETT’s The Vanishing Half. Very thought provoking.

Joe Dipinto 10:47 AM  

@JHC – Not sure what source you're using, but "Proud Mary" by Ike & Tina only reached #4 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart and #5 on Billboard's R&B chart.

I can only think of one female singer who had a Billboard Hot 100 #1 hit with her husband in the 1960's, but her first solo #1 hit was in 1971.

@Son Volt – I"d known about that Goffin/King song before, but never actually heard it. Thanks for posting the link.

Nancy 10:59 AM  

Let's make NANAIMO the new Natick.

I felt quite dyslexic when I wanted OpISbO instead of OBISPO.

What on earth is SEO?

As far as I'm concerned there was only one (1) good clue/answer in the whole puzzle and that was SCANDAL (33D).

It's like there weren't enough names in the theme answers and the constructor needed to throw in as many MOORE as he could fit in? Didn't know WIL, BENNETT, MONAE. Didn't care. OTOH, the non-name answers were Monday-easy. As in "Duh". So for me, this puzzle ranged from "Huh?" to "Duh" -- and neither part of it was enjoyable.

Newboy 11:05 AM  

Nice debut Josh you EARNed @Lewis’s accolades for the word play alone ( & toss in an extra URN as well). Strong women all in your grid; I’m the March presenter for our library’s book club selection of The Vanishing Half and I can confirm that Brit is an astonishing new voice on America’s literary scene. LEONINE seems more like a Friday word to my ear he ROARED, but maybe I just need my hearing aids cleaned? And a REPOTed tulip for ELI for his prize worthy response & video links to ear worm options for the rest of the week.

Weezie 11:11 AM  

I'm in the "very easy but it was right up my alley" camp. It's been so interesting to read everyone's comments over the past couple months and see what a wide spread of opinions there are on what constitutes a great puzzle. I tend to be much more interested in trivia than many of you, I think!

That said, I found this particular one solid, but a bit boring for a Wednesday, not because there were too many PPP clues, but because I knew them too readily. As a feminist former social worker who lived in Canada and would have been shamed by my musical family for missing any of the performers, it was almost eerily tailored to my interests.

I'm really hoping for something tricky or playful tomorrow!

Nancy 11:19 AM  

From now on, @Barbara S, I will never again think of NANAIMO as obscure, much less Natick-y. I will instead think of it as the cherished place that ushered @Barbara S into the world and therefore worthy of inclusion in all manner of future crossword puzzles.

PHV 11:23 AM  

Having looked it, I can tell you that SEO = Search Engine Optimization.

bocamp 11:26 AM  

Thx, Josh; very nice Wednes. challenge! :)


Pretty much on JG's wavelength for this one, except for the SW, which took FAR TOO long to suss out.

Didn't feel good about SEO , but what else could it be?

SCANDAL 'twas A PITY. Good clue, tho!

Dropped the LAW right in, but for some reason MOORE was hesitant.

BLINI's a standard Spelling Bee word.

Unknowns/learnings: SEO; BENNETT; KOMEN; BERNESE.

NANAIMO (hi @Barbara S. (8:50 AM)) was a gimme; participated in Little League house team, as well as ALL STAR tournaments there on a number of occasions. It was also clued as a sweet treat bar in a recent indie xword.

Speaking of baseball, getting rid of scorekeeping for TEE BALL games was one of the best moves we ever made. Amazing how much better the parents/spectators were behaved after that hard-fought rule change.

A fine battle today on an excellent puz! :)

Forgot to do Will's Mon. New Yorker; will get on it td! 🤞
Peace 🕊 🇺🇦 ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all 🙏

mathgent 11:30 AM  

Brava, Nancy! Today's crossword went from "Huh?" to "Duh!"

Masked and Anonymous 11:38 AM  

Lotsa no-knows in this here WedPuz, but the M&A solvequest survived, and I certainly knew all the cool themer gals. Nice puz.

fave stuff: STJAMES. ADASTRA & ALLSTAR. SCANDAL and its ?-marker clue. JANEADDAMS.

staff weeject pick: SEO. Evidently = Search Engine Optimization. Better clue, to give us half a chance: {Early sight beheld when entering the South Korean capital??}.

Thanx for the rock and rollers, Mr. Goodman dude. Especially the Stevie Nicks part. And congratz on yer fine debut.

Masked & AnonymoUUs


sixtyni yogini 11:41 AM  

Well, this puzzle was full of ALLSTARs balanced by ADASTRA! In opposite corners.

The three ⭐️s have to be favorites of a lot of us. Thinking…. Landslide! So Far Away! Proud Mary!

And don’t forget BENNETT, IRENE, JANE ADDAMS and MONAE… did I get all of the “ladies”?

Enjoyed this one. Tight theme, learned some things, good clues…and answers.


andrew 11:44 AM  

@Darryll 9:32

The whole gender disparity argument for past achievements is not innocuous, it’s ubiquitous - and often ridiculous! (And what is gender, anyway, but a social construct? How dated is the NYT for saluting the 3 formerly considered “female” 2x honorees)

Finding everything problematic is, well, problematic.

FYI - Most of the double inductees were for membership in two bands - Grohl for Nirvana and Foo Fighters; Clapton for Yardbirds and Cream; Crosby Stills Nash for that group plus Byrds, Buffalo Springfield and Hollies. Neil Young - a double inductee for Buffalo and individual (and could/should have been a triple, adding the Y to CSN) and the individual Beatles are among the few double inductees not inducted for two bands.

So to be honored as individuals, Nicks, Turner and King join Young, Lennon, Macca, Harrison and Starr in a 3 to 5 F/M ratio. Glaring!

But sure, let’s make sure we define inequitable results as misogyny past, present and future. And make sure we notify people we see the inequity, dammit, even if the comparative numbers are a bit off.

mathgent 11:47 AM  

Rosa Bonheur was in the puzzle recently. In today's NYT Arts, there is an article about her as a biggest-ever retrospective of her work continues at Musee d'Orsay in Paris. She was the richest and most famous female artist of 19th century France. But she was forgotten in the 20th century as her realistic style fell out of fashion.

Tom T 11:50 AM  

The top half of the puzzle played like a Monday (with the exception of NANAIMO), the bottom half a good bit more difficult because of all the names with which I lacked familiarity.

Misread the clue for 22D as "Kind of sex," and thought I must have missed out on a lot during my choir days.

Someone please explain SEO. It seemed like it had to be right because of the crosses, but that it had to be wrong because ... huh?

jae 11:53 AM  

Easy-medium . Fortunately, I vaguely remembered MOORES LAW because I had no idea what SEO means. A nice tribute to 3 terrific singers but a bit too heavy on the PPP (pushing 40% by my rough estimate - where’s Z when you need him?) especially with a PPP theme. That said, I liked it.


Anonymous 11:55 AM  

When does someone say “Yolo”? I’ve never heard it said!

Carola 12:00 PM  

TTrimble 10:43 and me 10:44 - Jinx!

andrew 12:04 PM  

SEO = Search Engine Optimization.

Trying to get your website listed first in Google, Yahoo and Ask Jeeves (remember that?) by including certain keywords (often to a ridiculous degree, until the search engines caught on and started penalizing the redundant terms).

Beezer 12:08 PM  

I guess I’ll bite on the question in a cryptic manner. I think the first was IGYB and the second was GT&T by a four letter name.

R Duke 12:08 PM  

If you were in a very big rock group, say The Beatles, and went on to have a very big solo career, a la Paul McCartney, you can certainly get enshrined in the HOF twice. Eric Clapton is in 3 times: with the Yardbirds, with Cream, and as a solo artist.

TTrimble, agree with you on the earlier Mac incarnations, especially with the amazing Peter Green.

RDuke 12:14 PM  


lodsf 12:16 PM  

Loved the SCANDAL answer/clue at 33D. Otherwise —not even including the 3 themers — this puzzle seemed like it was 90% PPP. Well, that % is an exaggeration but, basically to finish this one ya had to either know the people/ places/ dog breeds etc. or ya didn’t. I didn’t.

Harryp 12:28 PM  

Medium Wednesday time and liked it even with all the trivia. Great first effort.

old timer 1:01 PM  

I thought it was Monday easy, for the most part. Had BASe before BASS notes, and misspelled NANAIMO -- was convinced it was Nainamo until Ms. TURNER straightened me out. Not born there, never been there, though I always wanted to take the Vancouver Island train that runs there but in fact have only been in BC twice -- a day trip from Tacoma in 1969-70 and a deluxe trip across Canada with my wife on the train from Toronto to Vancouver where we did not remain overnight. The first trip was amusing, as we hung out with the local hippies.

I did want ccS before MLS, and wonder if MLS even exists. Don't they just write ML as the abbreviation for milliliters?

Joe Dipinto 1:14 PM  

Missed ancillary theme clue opportunity: BENNETT is the original surname of Veronica "Ronnie" Spector, who was inducted into the R&R Hall of Fame as a member of the Ronettes in 2007.

@Andrew – yes to everything you said in your 8:51 and 11:54 posts. The R&R HoF is totally arbitrary anyway. Who doesn't love Dolly Parton?— no one, but she herself turned down induction this year (having never even been nominated before), feeling it isn't her genre and she'd be taking someone else's place. Did they respect her wishes? No.

jberg 1:46 PM  

I don't know much about rock and roll, but I've heard of all these women. I've also heard of ARNOLD BENNETT, and just assumed this was some novel of his I'd never heard of. I'll have to look into Brit.

Likd @old timer, I thought it was the BASe NOTE, and was going to complain about what I thought was an error in the clue until I read @Gary Jugert's explanation. Of course, I was thinking of "root," which would have fit but not worked with the crosses.

I sort of figured out the concept of the theme from the weird working of the clues, but I was expecting Grammy winners. See my initial comment.

It's not that odd that the term ITALIANATE doesn't come from Italy; people in Italy are not all that likely to look at a building and say how Italianate it looks to them. Similarly, Victorian architecture is not really a British term, it's Americans' idea of what English people like in the Victorian era. Until I realized that I could never figure out how one variant of Victorian could be called Queen Anne.

okanaganer 1:47 PM  

I was pleasantly shocked to see NANAIMO which is a gimme for any BC resident, but I certainly don't blame non Canadians for no knowing it. @Barbara S, nice to know where you grew up! I too lived there but only for one year in 1982, building a house with my brother. My nephew (my sister's son) and his kids still live there. And the bars are excellent!

A complaint: MLS. Constructors please stop this really obnoxious misuse of metric units. That unit of volume is always "ml", regardless of how many there are. Do you really think we should write "1 ml" but "1.7 mls"????? This is almost as bad as the truly ugly KPH about which I have ranted before.

[Spelling Bee: after xmas hiatus, yd pg-1, missed this should've 5er; dunno why.]

CDilly52 1:53 PM  

My very favorite entry today refers to the uniquely Canadian treat, the Nanaimo bar. What a great treat and so easy to make. I will be forever grateful to my dear Canadian friends for introducing me to them via the original recipe. They brought some over to our house one summer evening as dessert for a BBQ, and I was hooked. So easy and so dang delicious. And they can easily be tailored to a holiday by adding a special flavor to the custard layer. I like to add peppermint and very finely ground candy canes at this time of year. Thanks Chris, Val and kids!

So much for my kudos to our neighbors to the north. As for the puzzle, not all the way in my wheelhouse but easy nonetheless. But not very sparkly - other than Nanaimo. And of course, now we have the amazing Dolly Parton in The Hall - as it should be. Like her music or not (and I do) Dolly is a prodigious talent and a generous, caring woman who does so much for people, especially children. Her reading program is a wonderful way to interest kids in reading. By their 5th birthday, member children can have as many as 60 books in their own personal libraries. Free.

Wow, I continue to digress. The fill was so all over the map that there must have been something for every solver to like. From MOORES LAW to ABRAHAM and all over the popular music map, this one had some difficulty settling into its theme. It ping-ponged around all over the place, but did bring the theme home tidily, albeit without much cleverness. But its only Wednesday; hope springs eternal for a really clever and entertaining Thursday. So far a capable and fairly enjoyable week.

Anonymous 2:06 PM  

For all the folks asking about SEO, it’s a very commonly used acronym in marketing and digital advertising. Must feel obscure to folks not in those industries but was a gimme for me.

Melissa S 2:13 PM  

I’ve googled and tried to use context clues. Can you please tell me what PPP stands for 😂

Diego 2:15 PM  

In my wheelhouse (as with many here) really enjoyed it, evoked great memories.
I saw Ike and TINA TURNER in the late 60s in Oakland CA in a concert where they and B.B. King were the openers for The Rolling Stones. It was one of the most thrilling concerts I’ve ever seen in my nearly 80 years. The Oakland Coliseum nearly came off its foundation. . . well maybe not. I started going to opera around the same time, and I’ve had similar experiences in that domain. Thank god for music.
And BRAVO to Josh Goodman for a pleasant romp and inclusive theme!

JC66 2:29 PM  



Pop culture, Product names, and other Proper nouns. 25-30% is pretty NYTX typical. More than 33% almost always causes some subset of solvers trouble.

SLG 2:38 PM  

Californian here, who learned about Nanaimo bars on a trip to Canada several years ago. The best treats I have ever had, by a wide margin!

Anonymous 2:55 PM  

Too many names. I knew most but just couldn’t get them all, even with crosses.

Jeff B. 3:01 PM  

Liked this puzzle a lot. Thanks, Josh Goodman.

The names were no problem, and the puzzle moved more quickly than the typical Weds (for me). My favorite was NANAIMO, benefiting from living an hour south of Vancouver a long time ago and learning the names of towns in BC from Canadian radio stations. Never did check out Nanaimo, but Vancouver Island is beautiful.

Jeff B. 3:10 PM  

Barbara S.: Liked your story about NANAIMO. Nice surprise in the puzzle.

egsforbreakfast 3:31 PM  

Haiku for Josh Goodman


The GOAT as far Popes go, has to be either John Twenty-three or LEONINE.

I like my ceviche with some subtle BASSNOTES and a side of MOORESLAW.

You know what they say about Cate Blanchett’s new flick. ALLSTAR that ends Tar.

I liked this puzzle in both theme and fill. Definitely in my Madison du roue. Thanks and congrats on a nice debut, Josh Goodman.

Nancy 4:42 PM  

@Egs 3:31 -- Cute! I thought you were merely making a punny joke about the G.O.A.T Pope being a tossup between John the 23rd and LEONINE. Of course, we've all heard of John 23 and he's certainly my favorite Pope, but my vote doesn't count since I'm not a Catholic.

Anyway, I went to Google Pope Leo IX (thinking "Who he?") and it turns out Google says he was a Very Important Pope. So a nice pun, @egs.

Barbara S. 4:52 PM  

@bocamp, @okanaganer
Shout-out to my fellow-B.C.ers! I haven't lived in lotus-land for a long time, but I still identify with the province of my birth. You can take the individual out of B.C. but you can't entirely take the mountains, the forest and the ocean out of the individual. @Jeff B. -- I don't know if you live in B.C. also, but I feel you might.

@Nancy (11:19)
Aww. You're a sweetheart, and that's all there is to it.

dgd 4:58 PM  

Words have many meanings. Enable is also used in the sense of give permission. Merriam-Webster online includes it in its list of definitions. I think the CLUE is valid
Decent puzzle, but if you don't know most of the names, it might be very annoying.

dgd 5:13 PM  

I remember in my elementary school back in the late 50's & early 60's learning about Jane Addams and her Chicago Hull House to help immigrants. But maybe I retained it because I was (and am) a history nerd.
I wonder if she appears in elementary school history curricula now?

Anonymous 5:29 PM  


Airymom 5:54 PM  

I went to a Fleetwood Mac concert in 1977 or so, after graduating from Binghamton. I've been a Stevie Nicks devotee ever since.

I wanted to take my son to see "Hamilton" for his 30th birthday, but just couldn't shell out $300 per ticket.

I'd pay double to see a B'way musical about her.

Great debut Josh. Mazel Tov to you and Talia.

Whatsername 6:34 PM  

@Barbara S: NANAIMO was one that kind of annoyed me because I’ve never heard of it. But I feel much better now. 😊

@Anonymous (11:55) YOLO = You Only Live Once

@Beezer (12:08) Regarding the cryptic question . . . my thoughts exactly. The only one I could think of who’d be a couple and later a single. Not surprising we’re on the same wavelength though. Great minds and all that.

Camilita 6:50 PM  

No Giovanni Paolo II was the GOAT of popes. I have several beer bottle openers with his sweet face on them, if you don't believe me. His merch always sold out.
They couldn't even sell Papa Benedict souvenirs. Thank God Papa Francesco took over so they were able to put all the Papa Benedict souvenirs on clearance, in the sale bin.

bocamp 7:40 PM  

@Barbara S. (4:52 PM)

I'm guessing Bellingham, WA for @Jeff B. 🤔

@Son Volt, pablo: Another one cell dnf; this time on Will Nediger's last Mon. New Yorker at the 'thorny / capital' cross. Will I ever get a Mon. New Yorker right? (New Year's resolution! lol)
Peace 🕊 🇺🇦 ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all 🙏

Anonymous 7:41 PM  

The whole idea of a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is antithetical to Rock and Roll. The Sex Pistols put it best in their statement rejecting their induction: ,,, Next to the SEX-PISTOLS rock and roll and that hall of fame is a piss stain. Your museum. Urine in wine. Were not coming. Were not your monkey and so what? Fame at $25,000 if we paid for a table, or $15000 to squeak up in the gallery, goes to a non-profit organisation selling us a load of old famous.
“Congradulations. If you voted for us, hope you noted your reasons. Your anonymous as judges, but your still music industry people. Were not coming. Your not paying attention. Outside the shit-stem is a real SEX PISTOL.”

Barbara S. 8:54 PM  

LOL -- I'm glad you regained your equilibrium! I certainly don't blame anyone not from the area for finding NANAIMO firmly on the obscure side.

Joe Dipinto 9:06 PM  

Re @JHC's trivia question, Wikipedia may be to blame, with this inaccurately worded statement:

C___ also set the record for the longest gap between number-one singles on the Hot 100; there was a gap of 33 years and 7 months between her singles "I G__ Y__ B___" and "B______" reaching number one.

That would be a record for duration of time between an artist's first and last (to date) #1 singles. It's not a "gap" between consecutive #1 singles.

Anonymous 12:10 AM  

It was very common like… ten years ago or something. Now it’s said in jest as a throwback, mostly to intentionally sound like an idiot.

Anonymous 12:14 AM  

She does not unless you’re in Chicago, and then only as a footnote.

albatross shell 1:01 AM  

Puzzle had an interesting collection of double letters. Plus some variations on the doubing like NANA NENE ENNE ABBA R and R.

PPP galore but the obscure stuff was nicely balanced wit fair and easy crosses. Exceptionally well put together.

Anonymous 2:54 AM  

I live in San Luis Obispo, and I’ve been to Nanaimo. So there.

Anonymous 3:35 AM  

I read, skimmed thru ALL the comments to see if anyone found the error in the Carole King clue. Her solo album Tapestry was issued in 1971. Not in 1990.

Anonymous 8:14 AM  

How many versions of the daily puzzle does the NYT post? I got the "Late Edition" of the paper and did the crossword on paper. My clue for NANAIMO was "Vancouver Island city", not "Vancouver Island city for which a chocolate treat is named". Also, the clue for ABBA was "'Waterloo' group", not “Pop group whose name is also a rhyme scheme” as mentioned in one of the posts.

CWT 9:23 AM  

Talk about “wheelhouse”: I live in San Luis Obispo, I’ve been to Nanaimo, and I’ve had a crush on Stevie Nicks for fifty years

Anonymous 3:15 PM  

PPP is an @Z invention measuring "non-vocabulary" like clues/answers:

Pop Culture, Product Names and other Proper Nouns.

Anonymous 11:07 AM  

The puzzle is fine, but incorrect. It would’ve made more sense to have published this last year before Dolly Parton was inducted.

Diana, LIW 10:00 AM  

With the exception of SEO and MOORESLAW (the O being in question), this played like a Monday for me. And now...must look up Dolly Parton!

And to the dentist again.

Diana, Tired of being Crowned Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

thefogman 10:04 AM  

DNF because I had OBISPi and iSU. Had no idea who the saint was and I guessed that the buckeye state for 11D was Iowa, thus the I. Another mistake was SeO for 35D and thus the two L’s in CAROLlKING. I just thought SlO had a better chance of actually meaning something than SEO. This is a debut for the constructor. I hope my next experience with his work is a more pleasant one.

spacecraft 10:41 AM  

Wow, who to pick for DOD? Aw heck, ALL of 'em! Not forgetting Agnetha and Anna-Frid of ABBA!

What an enjoyable puzzle for this ROCKANDROLL fan! I absolutely love all three of the featured ladies. CAROLEKING actually brings tears to my eyes.

First impression was positive: look at those roomy corners! No cramped areas. A pleasure to roam around in.

A couple of out-there entries, ITALIANATE and NANAIMO, went almost TOOFAR for Hump Day, but still this gem gets an eagle.

Especially since I also eagled the Wordle: BYGBB GGGGG!

Burma Shave 11:59 AM  




Anonymous 4:53 PM  

I love the singers, ergo, I loved the puzzle, even if it was easy.
100% of all answers in crossword puzzles are trivia.

Waxy in Montreal 5:33 PM  

Perfect crossword synchronicity for those of us inhabiting that otherworld known as syndiland as the Rock & Roll HoF released their 2023 nominees for membership today.


rondo 6:29 PM  

@waxy is spot on. 89.3 The Current (you can stream it) did some special programming today to recognize the ROCKANDROLL HALLOFFAME nominees for this year.
Wordle par with a BBBBB start.

Brett Alan 11:36 PM  

Anonymous @3:55: the clue doesn't say anything about Tapestry. King was inducted with her former husband and songwriting partner Gerry Goffin in the non-performers category in 1990, and as a solo artist in the performers category in 2021.

Anonymous @11:07: Dolly Parton was just inducted once. There are many other women who have been inducted (Aretha Franklin was the first); these are women who have been inducted twice.

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