TUESDAY, Apr.7, 2009- J Pahk (Neopagan belief / Dwellers in Middle Earth / Having dams at various locations as river / Last letter pilot's alphabet)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009



Relative difficulty: Easy/Medium

THEME: Tr / Tr - phrases with two words that start "TR-"

Word of the Day: RIA - (geography) Any broad, estuarine river mouth. A long, narrow coastal inlet, except a fjord, whose depth and width gradually and uniformly diminish inland.

Breezy puzzle whose theme I didn't see until I was done. Very simple and straightforward. Nothing's holding the answers together but those two little letters (doubled), but as I've said before, on early-week puzzles in particular, that can be enough, especially if the phrases themselves are colorful and the rest of the fill is solid. I'll give this puzzle the solid fill part. It's tight, smooth, nice. I didn't like ROW A at all (49D: Prime seating spot) - my first thought: "IOWA? Why would anyone want to sit in IOWA?" - but it's the only gripe I've got today as far as fill. The theme answers aren't terribly zingy, but I couldn't think of any others to switch out. TRAILER TRASH is the only Tr-/Tr- phrase I could muster off the top of my head, and, for at least two reasons I can think of, that would never work. The form of the theme answers is inconsistent here (Tr Tr, Tr OR Tr, Tr AND Tr, and then back to Tr Tr) but given the parameters and limitations of the theme, that was likely unavoidable.

Theme answers:

  • 20A: Valuable discoveries (treasure troves)
  • 25A: Cry while holding a bag (trick or treat)
  • 42A: Proven to work (tried and true)
  • 48A: Semi (tractor trailer)

This was an easy puzzle, but one that caused a lot of false starts on my part. Went with LOL for some reason at 1D: Subject line starter on many an e-mail joke (fwd). Want to lose friends and annoy people? Forward e-mail "jokes." I wrote in SCREW TOP for SCREW CAP (4D: Twist-off bottle top) because the way the clue was printed out (from Across Lite, on paper), the "top" part of the clue was on its own line and my eye just didn't catch it. I was very proud of getting STILE very quickly ... only the answer was STRAP (44D: Amusement park ride feature). I invented the word KNITTENS. I figured if there can be WOOLENS, there can be KNITTENS. Yes, I know WOOL is a fabric and KNITTING is an act ... still, it felt right. Snug. Cozy. KNIT WEAR, ironically, leaves me cold, despite its being manifestly the "right" answer (9D: Sweaters and such). Also went with DRAT for DANG (62A: "Well, gosh darn!"), a common error. Nope.

Want to say how much I love the NW corner. Something about FRISK (1A: Pat down) over WICCA (14A: Neopagan belief) over DOERR (17A: Red Sox Hall-of-Famer Bobby) just looks beautiful. DOERR is the all-time greatest second-baseman in Red Sox history, though once Dustin Pedroia's career is over, that may no longer be true. I took one of these ridiculous Facebook quizzes yesterday, "Which Red Sox player are you?" My result: Dustin Pedroia. Despite the fact that I'm a foot taller than him, I like the match. Yesterday was Opening Day, but the Sox game got rained out and I had to settle for watching the Mets game (pretty good). Wish I'd actually watched the Yankees game, as they got Blown Out by the O's. Sweet.

Bullets:

  • 19A: Spelunker's hangout (cave) - is this a play on the word "hangout," as in some spelunkers actually "hang" from ropes as they descend into caves? Or do spelunkers really use caves as places to hang out, play cards, have a drink, etc.
  • 38A: Billy who sang "We Didn't Start the Fire" (Joel) - well if you don't like rap, you really really shouldn't like this. More evidence that the period 1987-1991 was a truly horrifying time in pop music:



  • 55A: Home of Citta del Vaticano (Roma) - ROMA often gets the "Italian words in the clue" treatment. That's how you know it's not ROME.
  • 5D: Word derived from Japanese for "empty orchestra" (karaoke) - surprisingly, this word is not terribly unusual in crosswords. That is, I've seen it several times in recent memory. It's got great K action and the unusual (for English) "AO" combination.
  • 6D: Last letters of a pilot's alphabet (Zulu) - Alpha Bravo Gamma Delta ... I always screw up this alphabet. Thankfully, I had the terminal "U" and ZULU came instantly.
  • 12D: Dwellers in Middle Earth (elves) - of course my brain went ENTS ORCS immediately. When neither fit, I was genuinely puzzled. Took me several crosses to get this fairly common word.
  • 29D: Having dams at various locations, as a river (tamed) - this is a technical term? Not a wild west metaphorical one? Weird.
  • 38D: Not just dark (jet black) - nice answer. Had me thinking JET BLACK, JET BLUE, Black & Blue ... my potential puzzle theme musings ended there.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

Equally cool Tuesday puzzle in LAT today. PuzzleGirl's write-up here.

86 comments:

Hungry Mother 9:05 AM  

"Football blockers" caused me a problem until my wife helped me with "eclat"

PIX 9:16 AM  

@31A: the dictionaries support novae as a plural for nova, but any science book or show i have ever encountered used novas.

gave it a medium for a tuesday.

joho 9:20 AM  

When I first saw Joon's name at the top of the puzzle I thought this might be TECHNO Tuesday, but no!

I loved FRISK right off the bat. Fresh and brisk. Along with WICCA, SOLEIL, KARAOKE, ZULU, SUAVE and DOERR.

Fun puzzle, seemed just right for a Tuesday.

Thanks, Joon!

Xavier 9:29 AM  

I wanted to write KABUKI for KARAOKE, but as it didn't fit and as I didn't know how to spell it, I threw in KABOOKI. I don't know anything about kabuki, but it seems minimalist in a way that "empty orchestra" could possibly apply.

My only other hang up was at ROW A. I originally had ROW I (as in the roman numeral), which doesn't make that much sense in retrospect. They never use roman numerals for rows: too many of them for people to know how far back they are going to be. But then I thought "DING it all, that can't be right."

Xavs

ArtLvr 9:32 AM  

Me too, very nice Tuesday -- with TR starts to help lower down on seeing the first two theme phrases. Bravo, joon!

HAHAS would have been trickier clued as low walls or sunken fences... I did get a kick out of ROW A.

chefbea 9:35 AM  

Fairly easy however I never heard of wicca??? what is it.

Loved the video!!

My daughter who lives is Roma was awakened yesterday at 3:00am. All the books in her bookcases were shaking...and Rome is 70 miles away from Aquila

allan 9:41 AM  

I lean more towards the medium for a Tuesday, but understand the easy/medium rating Rex gave it. Once you figure out the theme, some of the long answers fall right in. The NW slowed me down for a bit.

"Wish I'd actually watched the Yankees game, as they got Blown Out by the O's. Sweet." So the gauntlet has been thrown. The Red Sox haven't played a game yet, so all you can do is luxuriate in aBomber loss. All I can say is that it's a marathon. Beware.

Doug 9:49 AM  

Pretty interesting puzzle. I had only one cross-over, Rome to Roma. Bobby Doerr gets in the Hall of Fame by virtue of Ted Williams whining and lobbying. Maybe he was a great Red Sox, but he wasn't a great second baseman. I don't just dislike the Sox, I despite them, especially with all their ugly facial hair. Let's wait till the Bombers-Sox play each other.

lastminutemark 9:51 AM  

I did exactly the same thing with LOL vs. FWD. (Of course, not a half-hour later, I got one of those very emails...) DOERR clued me in on my error, though. Also had a momentary glitch by spelling ZACK with an H, until I saw the N from UPON.

Even so, this may have been my fastest Tuesday ever -- comfortably under 4 minutes on paper. Agreed that the NW corner in particular is quite elegant. Very nice work, Joon!

dk 9:51 AM  

Joon, Thank you for the definition of KARAOKE.

Rex, the era of bad music began in 1975 IMHO and I would have loved to have seen trailer trash in the puzzle.

Warning loose association ahead:

Junior Brown's Semi Crazy is a good tune but here is the bane of the TRACTORTRAILER driver:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8Bkwafbg60

Request ahead:

Fellow bloggers, if you have every had a neighbor who was a bully, threatening to sue you, warning you to stay off his/her lawn, gossiping about you and generally inflicting emotional duress please email me your story. Working on a story for our local paper on pale felons (fancy pants for neighbors who make you feel like you are being pecked to death by ducks). See Nietzsche for more details. I will share the story with you when I am done.

Sorry for any misuse of this blog but this is such a diverse group it makes for a great window on the world.

Click cute little picture (aka avatar) and that will take to blog/email. Thanks, dk

allan 9:53 AM  

@chefbea: I think wicca is the pagan religion that involves witches and warlocks.

@Doug: Patience. Let's just see how the sox do against the rays first.

Rex Parker 10:01 AM  

You all should really try winning a championship this century, or winning a game this season, before you start talking trash. Meanwhile, enjoy paying $100/person to watch your cruddy steroided overpriced team. Jeter and Posada and Mo are badasses. Torre was great. Everything else = loathsome. But keep buying guys. I'm sure one of them will work out someday.

Rex Parker 10:04 AM  

Oh, you know who else Ted Williams lobbied to get in the Hall: Phil Rizzuto. Homework!

allan 10:26 AM  

@Rex: If only tickets were only $100 apiece. But come on, the bitterness of having only won 7 championships as opposed to 26 is really oozing out of every pore. And just a reminder, this is NOT the MLB blog. (And just so you know, I say all this in jest. I'm old enough to know better.)

Crosscan 10:29 AM  

Go Expos! Oh, yeah. Sniff. At least I have WINNING REX'S CROSSWORD CAGERS BRACKET to fall back on.

Great Tuesday puzzle. FRISK/WICCA/DOERR/SCREWCAP/KARAOKE is an awesome NW.

JC66 10:30 AM  

IMHO, neither Doerr or Rizzuto belong in the Hall of Fame, but at least Rizzuto won an MVP.

Anonymous 10:34 AM  

There's a threshold, I don't know where it is, where theme answers become too helpful, but this one crossed it. After two TR..TR.. phrases, it just became an excuse to throw in a TR at the beginning of the next long across. The puzzle was easy enough without the gimmes.

The official end of the "Good Yankees" era, the team that Gene Michaels built, was the signing of David Justice. Since then it's been exactly as Rex described.

Can someone please explain the hatred of your rival team? I can understand hating the Yankees and the Cowboys for cause, but the Red Sox? I'm a recovering Yankee fan, but there's nothing to hate about the Sox. Because they beat us? They beat us because out $30m/year star chokes. Hate them?, just go out and beat them.

allan 10:37 AM  

@Rex: And by the way, the pricing structure is pretty much identical for both teams. Homework.

XMAN 10:38 AM  

UTEP, y'all. Sounds like some neo-Egyptian god.

I think a ha-ha is an outhouse (slang), but don't find it in Web. II.

DanaJ 10:47 AM  

@hungry mother: I'm glad I'm not the only one who was puzzled by ECLAT.

Doesn't feel like baseball season yet here in Cincinnati. Rained on opening day yesterday and snow today - ugh. Nevertheless, Reds fans are always optimistic in April. "This could be the year!" :-)

Tony from Charm City 10:49 AM  

I finished this over a minute faster than yesterday's.

@Rex,

I'm happy my once proud team was able to whup some Yankee butt yesterday. The O's have a long way to go, but it's a start. Reminds me of the first game of the 1989 "Why Not" season when Ripken homered of Clemens and we beat the Sox in extra innings.

@Anonymous,

I don't really hate teams, but I have a strong dislike for Cowboys, Redskins, Yankees, and Duke.

fikink 10:51 AM  

Joon, nice puzzle. I tried TRANSPORT TRUCK for 48A, but I'm not sure that is anything; maybe just something I call them.


"my first thought: 'IOWA? Why would anyone want to sit in IOWA?'"

Perhaps to observe the HAYING ritual; you may commune with Tolstoy.

Chip Hilton 10:51 AM  

Rex! Your anti-Bronx Bombers passion is.....passionate. I've been a Yankee fan since the '50's (was running home from school in 1956 to catch the last few innings of a Series game when an old guy on a porch yelled, "Slow down, kid. Game's over. Larsen pitched a perfect game.") and must admit that the current team lacks the appeal of the great late '90's group. I actually got a kick out of the Rays' success last year as they looked down on the two high-priced spreads. And, you're right about Mo, Jeter and Posada.

The puzzle made for a fun Tuesday. I had the pleasure of meeting Joon at the Westport tourney and found him to be a delightful guy. His talents as a constructor are apparent.

retired_chemist 10:53 AM  

Nice puzzle - nearly as nice as Monday's. No problems. Less science than I expected from Joon - basically none, since TECHNO isn't a science reference.

@ Anon 10:34: hating the Cowboys - for what cause? They have done NOTHING to cause anybody pain in this millennium. Something like ten years since they won a playoff game. Every December now they get TRULY TROUNCED.

A-Rod chokes? Or were you talking about a different $30M/year star? Did he choke when he was in TX? Well, maybe, or maybe the Rangers' propensity for a group choke starting in May was what he couldn't carry them past. Y'all be the judge(s).

Rex Parker 10:58 AM  

Allan - feel free to blather, but don't mislead the people. Avg Yankee ticket this season = 44% more than avg Red Sox ticket.

$72.97 vs. $50.24

Google told me this inside 2 minutes, so I can't even really call it "homework." Boston had been the most expensive place to see a game before this year, and they're still in second place (that's how overpriced Yankees tix are - 40+% higher than next team on list). You gotta pay Sabathia and Texiera somehow, I guess.

Maybe NYY ticket prices have dropped in last few days. If so, I apologize for the erroneous info.

I do hate the Yankees (since '77 - grew up a Dodger fan), but I respect the rivalry. Trash talk is good, but facts should be straight.

And while this is not a sports blog ... Bobby DOERR makes this topic valid today. 3 and out.

Anon 10:34 11:07 AM  

The Cowboys have historically amassed the greatest assortment of talented miscreants possible yet parade around as "America's team". That's (the hypocrisy) what I dislike, not their won/loss record. That's what, I believe, people can rightly dislike the current Yankees for.

The Yankees of the 90's were an admirable team, put together legitimately. Not so today, except for the couple of holdovers.

Eric 11:09 AM  

@Rex. Love the word KNITTENS. Sounds warm and fuzzy and like a ball of wool. Ought to be a word.

Shamik 11:31 AM  

Joon...nice solid puzzle...and my fastest Tuesday at 3:43. It just fell for me today which it hasn't been doing for a couple of weeks! Not a single mis-start.

Baseball: an event to attend because of there's "beeah heah!"

PlantieBea 11:40 AM  

I solved this easy but fun puzzle in the line at the post office this AM. I didn't know what KARAOKE meant but empty orchestra makes sense.

We have a local Cirque du Soleil show here, and enjoy seeing it when the ticket prices drop--once in a great while. Unfortunately, Cirque is also played in a continuous loop on DVD in the waiting room of a local physician's office where I've spent some time, giving it a muzak-like quality.

Watched "Tender Mercies" (mentioned here previously) with husband last night--good movie.

SethG 11:47 AM  

"Is that your big rig sitting out there?"
"Yeah, yeah it is."

I would give almost anything to find a copy of the 80s TV commercial for the Pittsburgh Diesel Institute.

The only other "common" phrase I could find that fit the pattern is TRoop TRansport (14), and I like treasure troves better even with the plural. And here's a knittens blog.

Those prices are from the Team Marketing Report, which tracks average prices. But the Yankees average ticket price increase is largely due to a few $2500 premium seats--the cheapest Yankees seats retail for $14, the cheapest Red Sox for $12.

Not having any baseball talk over at today's LAT entry: Priceless.

Crosscan 11:54 AM  

I took care of that Seth. Let's play two!

PuzzleGirl 12:17 PM  

I like Seinfeld's schtick on the team loyalty thing. It goes something like this:

"I hate that guy!"
"You used to love that guy!"
"But now he's wearing a different shirt!"

Conclusion: We are basically cheering for laundry. HAha

Oh, and I Totally started to enter KNITTENS.

ileen 12:23 PM  

Twelve minutes and change for me. I got the TR theme early and it enabled me to figure out the long clues with ease. One of these days I should try solving without also trying to watch TV at the same time, especially when it's a show like 24. I almost missed a great fight/toss over a handrail by Jon Voight or his stunt double. I'm a multi-tasking fool.

Anonymous 12:41 PM  

Brilliant display is not exactly a great way to clue ECLAT. RTS as a cross was very lame, little help, hardly breezy. Baseball smack over 'roided out role models is a great way to spend the day, but not without PIVO!

jimmy d 12:49 PM  

Two words for Rex: Bucky F'n Dent!!

Hope you guys wait another 86 years for your next one!!!

Noam D. Elkies 1:03 PM  

Second puzzle of the Boston tournament. Learned something new about 5D:KARAOKE -- I knew "kara"=empty (as in karate = empty hand) but was sure "oke"=microphone; in fact it's a clipped form of "okesutora", which is just "orchestra" digested into Japanese syllables (like "terebi" from television). I'm not nearly as interested in the unfamiliar 17A:DOERR, but that and another sports clue (57D:RTS) may have been the only mysteries of the grid. Yes, nice to see 1D:FWD and 38D:JETBLACK; also the symmetrically placed 9D:KNITWEAR and 37D:TAILORED, and the extended spelling of 41A:├ćONS.

A number of international Across entries, from the south-of-the-border 61A:PESO to 44A:SOLEIL and 55A:ROMA to distant East 37A:TIMOR. 6D:ZULU doesn't count for this with the alphabet clue. Is Rex deliberately messing up this alphabet by putting Gamma third?

Yesterday IAGO; today 33D:MOOR. We get our 32A:HAHAS where we can (if not by 1D:FWD).

Not sure why this particular Billy Joel song should be so much more horrifying than r*p. Not that I'm a big Billy Joel fan, but evidently enough people are that I get lots of false negatives when Googling for pianist (and fellow Harvardian) Joel Fan. These days most of the hits do go to the piano man I'm looking for, though.

NDE

Anonymous 1:10 PM  

excellent puzzle Joon. Flowed nicely. Yankee fan here who does not really see the reason to "hate" other teams. I am sure if I grew up in Boston instead of NY I'd be a Red Sox fan. I hate things like terrorists and pedophiles.

Meg 1:16 PM  

What is RT in football? Also, why is "eclat" ok when it's not an English word?

George NYC 1:26 PM  

Yankee-inspired NYC Subway Fares

Bob Kerfuffle 1:26 PM  

Perhaps in a baseball stadium ROW A is a 49 D, prime seating spot (wouldn't know; never been there), but in the theater it is often not. I've gotten a stiff neck looking up at actors' shoes and had my view blocked by stage furniture in Broadway theaters (e.g., at The Seafarer, which had a large couch.)

Bill from NJ 1:39 PM  

Nice departure for Joon as his last several puzzles were like he swallowed a dictionary, as my father was found of saying when thing were over his head.

I enjoy both types of puzzles but recently Mr Pahk's puzzles seemed to lack something I can't put my finger on but this one, this one went down smoothly.

Thanks, Joon and all this is IMOO.

fergus 1:50 PM  

You can still get into the Oakland Coliseum for two bucks on the odd Wednesday. Lots of fun roaming around the stadium.

Found this puzzle relatively difficult. I think Joon's totally got the knack. DANG, he's good. I had REVERES before switching it to ADMIRES.

JannieB 1:50 PM  

@Meg - Right Tackle

Nice Tuesday outing. Good level of difficulty with solid, in-the-language theme entries.

fikink 1:53 PM  

@Bob Kerfuffle, my sentiments exactly. We once saw a performance of A Chorus Line in St. Louis from third row, center... Sadly. I'm thinking more like ROWO!

retired_chemist 2:00 PM  

@ B ill from NJ - I agree it is a departure for Joon. I personally like his construction either way. YMMV.

Anonymous 2:05 PM  

@Meg

RT is Right Tackle. Anything clued with 'blocker' could also be:

LT - Left Tackle
OT - Offensive Tackle

'lineman' could also be:

DT - Defensive Tackle
NT - Nose Tackle

RT (just initials, not position-related)

Glitch 2:33 PM  

@nde

Notice you use p*p and r*p.

I understand the meanings (from the context) but was curious of the why.

Would you mind explaining?

Thanx,

.../Glitch

jae 3:21 PM  

Yes, nice breezy Tues. Thanks Joon. ECLAT is in my aging American Heritage Dict. as "Great brilliance as of performance or achievement." This seems to match the clue pretty well. No?

archaeoprof 3:21 PM  

Red Sox fans were so much more lovable back when they hadn't won anything.

Reds fans are the new gold standard for pure, true, hapless loyalty.

lastminutemark 3:22 PM  

Is it sad that I remembered the "empty orchestra" definition for KARAOKE from a first season "How I Met Your Mother" episode?

skorasaurus 3:23 PM  

I thought 63A was a pretty poor clue. Skeds ?! The author finished making the puzzle at bottom right hand clue and made 63A. There's the crosswordese 'ERLE' (I forgot that one) next to it, but that was slightly more acceptable than 'skeds.'

COIXT RECORDS 3:23 PM  

does anyone actually use the abbreviation "sked" with that spelling??

Anonymous 3:29 PM  

Sked is used in tv. Here

guinevere33 3:32 PM  

I picked this up at work, and the person who'd gotten there before me left some truly Dada-like responses.

Cake decorator: RIME
Narrow inlets: NIBS
Spelunker's hangout: RIVE
Prevailed: WAS
Prime seating spot: IOWA

And last but not least, Riseling wines are produced in..the RHINO valley.

chefwen 3:34 PM  

O.K. now after all that baseball talk, all I want is a hot dog and a beer; some peanuts thrown in would be nice too.

Fun and easy Tuesday puzzle.

Off to the LA Times.

flagger 4:35 PM  

Very nice puzzle. Easy stuff once you figure out the theme.

@Rex: Love the byplay on the baseball season that is only 2 days old. But as a math guy, I can't let you slip in misleading statistics. Yankee stadium holds approximately 15,000 more seats than Fenway. That naturally skews the statistic in the manner that you stated. But any fool can look at the pricing structure, and see how similar they are. Here are unskewed facts: Dugout box at Fenway (top price ticket) $325. Field level box at the new stadium (top price ticket) $375.

Bleacher seat at Fenway (lowest price ticket) $12. Bleacher seat at the new stadium (lowest price ticket) $14.

26 World Series Rings vs. 7 World Series Rings PRICELESS.

And btw, the prices are all from each team's official mlb website. So yeah, the Yankees are more expensive, but please refrain from using artificial stats. We know how to use statistics to prove just about any point.

The reality is that you can't get a seat in either ballpark at this stage of the game without paying some real exorbitant price.

Let's just hope that TB doesn't blow both teams out of the race. Nothing makes for a greater season than the Sox and Yanks battling it out through some 5 hour game in the rain in September with 1st place on the line. The best and fiercest rivalry in all of sports.

flagger 4:40 PM  

@Seth G: I got so upset with Rex's statistic, that I jumped right into the fray. My face is awfully red after reading your post and seeing that I stole everything from you.

Go Steelers.

Doc John 4:48 PM  

Nice puzzle today, Joon. TR always make me think of this.

Thanks, too, for the "shoutout" to my hubby whose birthday is today. ;) His last name is Moore so not only did you have MOOR as an answer, you even had the name in a clue! And speaking of MTM, when someone asks hubby's last name I always say, "Moore, as in Mary Tyler."

NOVAE and AEONS in the same puzzle (and the placement of the AEs is symmetrical)!

I always get a kick out of rabid sports fans because I used to be one: a diehard Dolphins fan (remember, I'm originally from Miami). One day I realized that Dan Marino wasn't in a funk all week when I had a bad day. That and the players' strike snapped me out of it. Now, I can watch a game and just be entertained by it. I have to admit, though, that being a Dolphins fan I was happy to see the unbeaten season of whoever it was upset in the Super Bowl last year.

flagger 4:53 PM  

@archeoprof: How about Cub fans?

3 & ooout.

fergus 4:55 PM  

Guinevere33,

That's how I got hooked on crosswords. Seeing them partially filled in, sitting around on the conference room table with some rather bizarre answers filled in.

When I go to the local library to get the WSJ Friday or the NYT Sunday puzzles (because I don't feel like shelling out more than a copy fee), there are often some curiosities: some dullard with a felt pen mars the grid, or someone else scrupulously erases all the pencil marks from working it, yet leaves me with smeared dividing lines.

While I've tried to get with the program by solving on-screen, I have to recognize my pattern is set with ink on paper.

The number 33, by the way, does seem to have some mystical significance. Offline, we might share an insight or two, or laugh at ourselves, concerning its magical properties. Way better than 42, though some galactic folk might demur or disagree.

joho 4:57 PM  

@guinevere33: your comment brought back a time when one of my co-workers took my puzzle from me when I said I was stuck for an answer. He proceeded to read each clue and write in the first thing that came into his head. And he just kept going until all the squares were filled in. I was dumbstruck watching as he confidently finished the entire puzzle then handed it back to me. It would have been hilarious if I didn't have to go buy another paper!

Rex Parker 5:01 PM  

@flagger,

The stat is accurate. Don't get mad at the stat. Even the way you slice the prices, you're still higher by double-digit percentages.

You're an angry Yankee fan. I get it. But you have got to stop getting your trash-talk material off of street-vendor t-shirts. The only thing that's "priceless" is the anger / tears of smug Yankee fans. That, and the 2004 ALCS. And Game 7 of the 2001 Series. Good Times.

Seriously, though, good luck. I'm happy for the Rays, in a way, but the only teams I want to see playing in the fall are Yankees/Red Sox.

Rex Parker 5:03 PM  

guinevere, those answers are Rich. You've gotta steal that guys xword more often and report back.

rp

spyguy 5:19 PM  

I didn't read through all the comments to see if someone already said this, but the only real criticism of the puzzle for me was two "T-(blank)" answers. Which was probably unavoidable with the theme. As a 30-something, I grew up with "Saved by the Bell", but drew a blank on Zack until I put Zulu in. The only name I came up with was "Screech", and that wouldn't fit.

Crosscan 5:19 PM  

1992 & 1993 Blue Jays. I'm just saying.

George NYC 5:27 PM  

All sports fans are the same. They are crushed when their beloved falls short. And they envy and fear a rival that is a threat. Since envy and fear would show weakness, they use "hate." It's silly. PS: go Sox!

George NYC 5:31 PM  

All sports fans are the same. They are crushed when their beloved falls short. And they envy and fear a rival that is a threat. Since envy and fear would show weakness, they use "hate." It's silly. PS: go Sox!

fergus 6:21 PM  

Every so often allegiance to a sporting team yields complete satisfaction. (I'm talking Niners at the end of the 1984 or 1988 seasons with Montana at the helm, or someone else's baseball squad in 2004.) Yet even in triumph, it's a wan or empty situation to find yourself in soon after, since there's nothing left to hope for.

Anonymous 6:49 PM  

ECLAT is a blast or profligation of something, it doesn't matter what on-line dictionaries say; pure translations of idiomata are bollocks. Brilliant display for ECLAT is rubbish.

fergus 6:59 PM  

Circumventing, I'll give the Rex reply to Anon 6:49 with no ELAN. This is Crossword 101, you ... strange embodiment of Cluelessness.

HudsonHawk 7:00 PM  

Rex, the stats may be correct, but Seth better captured the comparability of going to a Yankee or Sox home game (BTW, I'm not a fan of either team, but have been to lots of their home games).

For the average fan, the $300+ seats are out of the equation in both parks. And there are a heck of a lot more $14 bleacher seats at Yankee Stadium than there are $12 seats at Fenway. In fact, the comparable bleacher seats at Fenway are $26. And if you want a reserved seat in the upper deck, it's $30 at Fenway and $22-29 at Yankee Stadium.

Glitch 7:01 PM  

@Coixt Records

Actually I have used "sked" as an abbreviation for most of my life, (e.g. sked tba)and probably have seen it for as long. What do you use???

@SethG / flagger

Rex may be (mostly) right with his 72.97 / 50.24 --- but not his $100 statement.

May be a prob 'tween avg, weighted avg, and median tix prices (notorious xword blog issues).

[Those who couldn't care less, feel free to move on to the next post.]

When @SethG wrote:

"Those prices are from the Team Marketing Report, which tracks average prices. But the Yankees average ticket price increase is largely due to a few $2500 premium seats"

he neglected the footnote:

"Average ticket price represents a weighted average of season ticket prices for general seating categories, determined by factoring the tickets in each price range as a percentage of
the total number of seats in each venue.

Premium seating (tickets that come with at least one added amenity or is classified by team as premium) are not included in the survey to calculate average ticket price. Luxury suites are also excluded from the survey..."

Kinda like the average US income is around $240,000 but median is about $34,000 --- give or take a few politician's estimates.

../Glitch

flagger 7:01 PM  

OK. Seriously I am laughing at how this turned into a baseball day. I'm not offended if my team loses. I am not 7 years old listening to Bobby Thompson hit a 3 run home run to beat the Dodgers in a 1 game playoff (1951), and hearing Russ Hodges scream with elation, "The Giants win the pennant, the Giants win the pennant." I've long gotten over that feeling of the world coming to an end because my team lost.

@George NYC: Traitor! :0)

I'm just having some fun. And if no one got the point I made earlier, I fully agree with Rex that all that matters come late September and October is that the Yankees and Red Sox are battling it out for the pennant. The drama is just fantastic. Sorry for anyone who doesn't get that; you are missing out on a great time.

Crosscan 7:08 PM  

My dream is that one day baseball will expand beyond Boston and New York.

Noam D. Elkies 7:40 PM  

@Glitch, re r*p/p*p music, b*seball etc.: Sorry, I thought it was clear what I was trying to suggest. These are modeled after a familiar convention for writing taboo words (as in "cr*p"), and should convey a similar attitude towards the word or topic at issue. ;-)

NDE

allan 8:19 PM  

@Crosscan: My dream is for world peace.

SethG 8:38 PM  

Glitch, when I neglected the footnote, it was because I did not notice the footnote. Sorry, no deceit intended. Anyway, change my statement to something about the 3,400 non-premium $325, and my point still holds. Which is: Go Steelers!

(My sister actually got to sit in one of the mega-expensive seats for a pre-season game or practice or something last week, but she's an art director at a major sports magazine...)

Glitch 9:00 PM  

@nde
Gotcha --- not a bad convention.
Thanx

@SethG
Just trying to keep us honest --- I'm on your side --- if there is a side that is ;-)

.../Glitch

COIXT RECORDS 9:11 PM  

@Glitch -

I don't actually think I've ever had a need to abbreviate "schedule" at all; perhaps I'm just not popular enough to have that busy a schedule? I'd probably just use "sched" if I were going to abbreviate... (though I see that "sked" is definitely valid)

Badir 9:25 PM  

@Crosscan,

I guess you're lucky I didn't enter--one of my ESPN brackets finished #1563 out of about 4.5 million! Still, I bow my head to my friend's coworker, also in our pool, who's about to end up #4 on the ladies' side when UConn wins!!

michael 10:02 PM  

I sit in Iowa most days. It is a fine place to sit (or stand).

Not at all hard -- but for some reason this puzzle took me a bit longer than the average Wednesday.

deerfencer 11:16 PM  

Fun, piece-of-cake puzzle--and even more fun to see the Sox/Bombers cage rattling. I personally am a NY fan but love the Sox as well. Color me Chance (Chauncey Gardener)--I just like to watch a good, well played game no matter the participants.

Anonymous 2:46 AM  

Alpha, Bravo, CHARLIE, Delta. The G is Golf.

-Brennan

shakatak 9:28 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
shakatak 9:31 AM  

As a crossword fan living in Iowa I will say that I don't mind sitting in Iowa instead of Row A. I love this blog, I would have to guess that you are close to my age with all the references (I'm 35). As a syndicated solver I'm 5 weeks behind and I've also noticed the DM Register doesn't print the author of the puzzle and doesn't italicize the clues that are supposed to be italicized which adds to the challenge sometimes.

Waxy in Montreal 9:49 AM  

Du syndicat -

Odd connection, but the abbreviation used in French emails (courriels) for FWD (1D) is TR as per the puzzle theme. Wonder if Joon was au courant?

Go Expos, er, Blue Jays (forget the Red Sox & Yankees this year - it's Blue Jays all the way!)

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