## Tuesday, September 23, 2008

### Off-Day Puzzle #12: Solution

Okay, first things first. The completed grid is as follows:

As signified by the yellow boxes, the four Dodgers are Broxton, Eischen, Ardoin, and Sutton. Many people submitted the fact that they all end in the letter "n", but that wasn't relevant. Rather, their bond is signalled by the five blue squares, which acronym (reading left-to-right) as NKOTB, also known as New Kids On The Block.

Looking further, our four Dodgers have first names that match four of the five members of the 90's boy band: Jonathan (Broxton) Knight, Joey (Eischen) McIntyre, Danny (Ardoin) Wood, and Donnie (Sutton) Wahlberg. This would only leave out Jordan Knight. There are no Dodgers on the all-time roster with a first name of "Jordan," but as clued by "albeit differently from the other four," there are four former Dodgers with "Jordan" for a last name. Only one of these was an outfielder, the answer to the puzzle, Brian Jordan.

There were a number of clues in the flavortext which signaled NKOTB, including "step by step" and "hang in there" (the latter of which is a bit of a stretch but refers to their album, "Hangin' Tough"). Also, the five Dodgers were supposed to perform in front of a crowd of high-school girls, a typical crowd for NKOTB.

And finally, in hint #2, it was mentioned that "It is also not relevant to examine the last letters of their first names; you're getting confused with something else." That was a veiled reference to N*SYNC, another boy band, which allegedly determined the band's name by taking the last letters of the quintet's first names (or initials, in JC's case).

As I mentioned in the original post, I'm not very experienced in creating crosswords. So I apologize for mistakenly placing Kiev in Russia rather than the Ukraine--call me a chicken, I suppose. However, to the one person who objected to defining "ply" as "to carry on," I blame dictionary.com, or more specifically, Random House.

Congratulations to the winners with the correct answer, all of whom will be entered into this puzzle's Participation Prize Lottery; as of 7p PT on 9/22, they include (in order of finish) quadsevens, MSTI, fanerman, daniel, jose, gil gamesh, neeebs, steve, mr. customer, berkowit28, and erin (just back in town; as berk correctly mentioned, "first time we've had a submission *from* a clue"!). Quadsevens gets additional golf clap credit for such an early, succinct, complete, and correct answer, which was truly astonishing. Karina and cigarcow also are entered in the lottery but as of this writing, their answers were not correct.

Thanks to all for participating, stay tuned for a post on the lottery methodology, and look for the final off-day puzzle of the season, Sept 29 at 7am sharp!

Eric Karros said...

Raise your hand if you solved the blue squares part a little too quickly.

*raises hand*

I had a few of those cds when I was in 2nd and 3rd grade. A couple of my friends even performed a song for a talent show. I managed to avoid being part of that group.

That pic of the NKOTB is funny. One guy trying to look sexy, three wholesome smiles, and one guy who thinks he's a gangsta rapper.

berkowit28 said...

I couldn't get anywhere with the blue squares for the longest time, until inspired to use Google. I truly have never heard of that band - confirming conclusively my signal lack of pop culture, as I'd been telling you. The best I could come up with until then was "No Kats On The Bed", which I rather like. I offer it without charge as name to anyone starting up a band...

Eric Karros said...

I admire your forthrightedness Quad. By the way, your description of the NKOTB pic is frighteningly applicable to a photo I have of the SoSG writers.

If you ever decide to reveal your true identities EK, I think you should post that pic you have with this NKOTB pic side by side.

Steve Sax said...

Who says we're not NKOTB?

At least, five of us.

Erin said...

I had some New Kids tapes, but it was only because all my friends loved them. I really didn't understand the hype.

I can still name them for you, though. The one in front in the red jacket who looks surprisingly like a woman is Jordan Knight. And the one who thinks he's a gangster is Donnie Wahlberg, brother of Marky Mark, and currently an actor himself. The monkey behind him is Danny, the young one on the right is Joey, and I guess that leaves John, though I really don't remember that dude at all. He was Jordan's brother (I guess he still is), and all the girls loved Jordan. Looking at that picture, I cannot for the life of me figure out why.

I'm just happy I got into the puzzle as a clue. That made my day.

Steve Sax said...

erin, it was easier to grid your name rather than quadsevens and berkowit28.

Orel said...

"I had some New Kids tapes, but it was only because all my friends loved them."

Sure, Erin. Whatever you say.

karina said...

Hahahahaha, New Kids on the Block.

I just stared and stared to the anagram and i couldn't figure it out. I mean, just one vowel?.

At the time they were very famous, i was around 2nd or 3rd grade, i loved Guns 'N Roses, Depeche Mode and The Cure, due to my older brother's influence (he was in a sort of rock phase).

Because of my dancing classes, i remember Paula Abdul, Janet Jackson and Gloria Estefan. Around here, i guess Menudo was bigger and i did love them, i mean all my friends liked them (for the sweet love of Baby Jesus, Ricky Martin, with a bad haircut, singing songs about sunglasses).

karina said...

Erin, every girl deserves to like at least one boyband. No shame for that.

Neeebs said...

Got to admit, my first thought was that the significance of five meant the Jacksonville 5, and the only outfielder fitting that category was Matt Kemp. Of course, the "kids" would have referred to the Dodger Kids and Kemp was a new kid.

But it didnt quite fit the methodology. Only when I wrote out the first names of the Dodgers did it sort of fall in place for me.

I tend to overthink these things and fail to see the forest from the trees.

Eric Karros said...

I meant to hang a Manet replica in my living room but there was some sort of mixup at the art gallery I guess, and it ended up being a NKOTB poster instead. When I realized the mistake I was totally like "this is not what I meant to put up! I have no clue who these guys even are, much less listen to their music that often!" But now I'm afraid I'll damage the wall if I try to take it down. One of those days, I guess.

Steve Sax said...

ek, so what you're telling us is, the poster is hangin' tough?

EK, that is exactly why I follow the process of any artwork purchase Step by Step.

Eric Karros said...

Huh? Hangin' Tough? Step by Step? I totally don't get those two comments. Not even a little.

Eric Karros said...

I mean, I don't have the slightest idea what this "NOTKB" thing is (did I even spell that right!?), much less the names of any of their albums. So sorry fellas, those comments are totally lost on me.

Steve Sax said...

EK, Come on. Swing it.