Wall Street Journal, 3/19/10

“Pontification” by Joon Pahk – 14:08

wsj mar 19 10

March 15 is the Ides of March. March 17 is St Patrick’s Day. March 21 is the first day of spring. What about poor March 19? Well, it turns out March 19 is Pope Day. So ACPT B Division Champion and Co-Fiend Joon Pahk celebrates with a puzzle that adds the names of popes to various phrases.

Theme answers:

 23A. [Suave business dealings?] – URBAN E-COMMERCE. More famous than Pope Rural.
33A. [Totally stormy?] – ALL INCLEMENT. Popes love to play poker.
52A. [Ingredient for making gunpowder during Passover?] – KOSHER SALTPETER. Passover and the Pope…I better say no more on this one.

[And we’re back. My laptop just overheated and did an automatic shutdown.  I’m not sure why, but no more pope jokes just in case.]

71A. [Blessing from a Roman deity?] – SATURN BENEDICTION
88A. [Former Treasury secretary who couldn’t keep to a budget?] – PRODIGAL PAULSON
121A. [Wondrous Bauhaus School founder?] – MIRACLE GROPIUS. Walter Gropius.
104A. [Game in which money talks?] – SIMOLEON SAYS. I don’t mean to be rude but…

Other stuff:

14A. [Man of rags] – JOPLIN
25A. [Bowl with a lid] – TOILET. In a pope puzzle. Nice, Joon.
26A. [TV’s “Uncle Miltie”] – BERLE
63A. [Birthplace of karate] – OKINAWA/40D. [Sony co-founder Morita] – AKIO. A rarely seen Japanese crossing.
77A. [CB sign-off] – TEN FOUR
117A. [March 14, to math teachers] – PI DAY. 3.14, get it? Those wacky math teachers.  
125A. [Museo de El Greco setting] – TOLEDO. I’m waiting for the [Ohio birthplace of Jeffrey’s mother] clue.
127A. [Jazz great Coleman] – ORNETTE
129A. [“The Queen of Tejano Music”] – SELENA
130A. [Unmentionable place?] – DRESSER.  Hah.
3D. [Cuba ___ (rum drink)] – LIBRE. Is it me or has this appeared a lot lately?
7D. [Virtuoso pieces] – TOCCATAS
11D. [Busy mo. for CPAs] – APR. Shout out to accountants!
19D. [Tag line?] – NOT IT. Watch your parsing. There are popes present.
29D. [“Three ___ and One DJ” (Beastie Boys song)] – MCS
32D. [Cowardly Lion’s portrayer] – LAHR
41D. [Hit on the head] – BONK. My word of the day. Everyone please say BONK at some point today.
42D. [Required H.S. course, often] – US HISTORY.  I didn’t know that the history of a celebrity gossip magazine was taught in U.S. high schools.
49D. [Like some pricey headphones] – ANTI-NOISE. Are cheap headphones pro-noise?
82D. [Bro] – HOME SLICE. I’m not up on this groovy slang.
87D. [Stop up] – SEAL
90D. [“This ___ quest…” (“The Impossible Dream” lyric)] – IS MY
91D. [Makes big decisions for others] – PLAYS GOD. Careful. (See also 111D. [Changes some clues, perhaps] – EDITS)
94D. [Part of a Mountie’s outfit] – STETSON
108D. [Roberto Duran’s uncle?] – NO MAS

Nice job, Joon. How about famous rabbis next week?

I leave you, for no particular reason,  with Petula Clark singing “Downtown

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16 Responses to Wall Street Journal, 3/19/10

  1. Meem says:

    Parsing 23A: urbane commerce, I think.

  2. Dan F says:

    HOMESLICE! That was one of my two actual LOL moments while solving, the other being KOSHER SALTPETER.

  3. Tony Orbach says:

    Nice one, Joon! Thanks for not putting GROPIUS in the “Pass the Chicken” bucket!

    Neat theme, funny entries & fresh fill – all of which comes as no surprise.

  4. joon says:

    thanks all! i had fun with this one. as BEQ said to me: “it’s safe to say nobody else is coming up with this theme.”

    next time i put EDITS in a grid for mike shenk, i’m going to clue it as {Totally reworks the fill in several areas}. :) ironically, my clues are largely intact. and i do like his SW corner better than my original. NINJAS!

    jeffrey: i had nothing to do with the publication date of this one, but at least it fell close to PI DAY. and march 19 is celebrated as father’s day in most of europe; it’s the feast of st joseph (and you thought you were done with catholic trivia for today!). so it’s not an inappropriate occasion for a holy fathers theme.

    dan: HOMESLICE was literally the first thing i put in the grid after the theme answers. not surprising, since it’s a 9-letter fill crossing 3 themers. but i was pretty tickled when i saw it in onelook.

    tony: would GROPIUS have been any tougher than uncas? at least there’s an easy 1-word clue for him in round 2. anyway, the PIUS-insertion pun possibilities were pretty thin on the ground…

  5. Matt Gaffney says:

    Nice theme and execution, Joon. And like BEQ, I’ve never seen it before.

  6. Amy Reynaldo says:

    Took me forever to understand what was behind SATURN BENEDICTION. I started with BENEDICTINE/saturnine and it was only hours later that I remembered that Saturn sells an Ion.

    I resisted putting HOMESLICE in the grid because I thought it seemed un-Joony or at least patently non-papal. One wonders whether anyone has ever greeted Pope Benedict with “‘Sup, homeslice?”

  7. HumbleRookie says:

    Great job with Today’s WSJ, Joon! I really enjoyed it. The audible groan when I cracked the “Duran’s uncle” clue woke up my eight dogs and set them all a-barking!

  8. Howard B says:

    Nice one, Joon! Crazy theme. I, too, was pretty surprised by HOMESLICE; I’m filling it in with HOMES—-, and saying, “No, that can’t be right…hmm…”.
    GROPIUS wrecked me nicely, hiding in that corner for a while. Bonus points for fitting PIUS into a theme. Well-played.

    @Amy – The SATURN theme was also my last one. A head-scratcher until that little fridge light came on for me. Joon, you sneaky devil.

    @Humble – Same here on “Duran’s uncle”. Can’t recall if I’ve seen it before
    , but I enjoyed it. Plus, my first instinct was TIO, even if it refused to fit.

  9. While printing-out this puzzle to start solving today,
    this bellowist promptly noticed the coincidence of
    72Down Mother-of-pearl followed next by 73Down
    Lady of Spain. As many accordions feature NACRE,
    and though they became notorious for doing DAMA,
    “accordions don’t play ‘Lady OF Spain”, people do” –
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FsbTpDYuM2k .-)

  10. Joseph Tomczyk says:

    Ps: ‘Still would like to have an (accordionist) avatar
    appear aside my comments herein.

  11. HumbleRookie says:

    Still having a chuckle over Joon’s great Pope-pun-puzzle, before starting today’s efforts. I would’ve spent a lot less time trying to get Hispanic male names to fit for “Duran’s uncle” had I noticed the question mark in the clue. Reason–I was solving online, full-screen, and longer clues don’t fit, at least not at the resolution at which my feeble eyes can read the clues. So you have to put your mouse over them, which takes time. I suppose I’m the only one here who absolutely HATES to solve online! I’m not adept at it, and don’t seem to be getting any better. Printing out all the puzzles is neither cost efficient nor “green,” so I’m dealing with it.

  12. Jeffrey says:

    @Humble – I also prefer paper so you’re not alone.

  13. Aaron says:

    I’m not so good with punning proper names into other proper names, so I slipped several times with the themes of this puzzle; liked some of the fill, but I wound up unable to finish a few areas. So it goes!

  14. Quentinc says:

    In the unlikely event anyone is still out there, why is the answer to 81A [So great] SUCH?

    BTW, this definition in the Urban(e) Dictionary of “Homeslice” makes me feel a lot better for never having heard the term:

    “A word often used by little white kids who are trying to be cool. Also is an out of date term used to describe a friend; recently replaced by homie(still not cool for white kids to say)”

  15. Jeffrey says:

    @Quentinc – I’m still here!

    One definition of “such” is “so great”:

    to so great a degree = to such a degree

  16. Quentinc says:

    Thanks Jeffrey, glad to know I’m not just talking to my homeslices. :)

Comments are closed.