After cruising through yesterday's puzzle, today's Wednesday crossword by Henry Hook (answers) gave me more than I could handle even with Robin's help. All the theme clues were completely legit but each was a struggle. I knew "death" in German from The Ring where Siegfried's TOD music is an emotional highlight. What I didn't know turned out to be a longer list and I had many wrong starts. I thought ISLES might fit as an N.H.L. (those periods again!) team but it took awhile to convince myself that it was an ok answer. If you sailed through this puzzle you're a better solver than me. If you did it without resorting to Windows Live Search or whatever 1 Down turned out to be, congratulations.