Sunday, January 18, 2009

New York Times, Mon, Jan 19, 2009 Tracey Snyder / Will Shortz

Sanity is restored with a Monday puzzle and I'm back on track with a reasonable solving time. How it can be done in two and a half minutes I don't know: I guess it takes me a little longer using pencil and paper and keeping track of the solving order; but for me to take a fifth of the time is inconceivable right now.
Solving time: 15 mins (no cheating)
Clue of the puzz: 51d snore [Sound asleep?]
Theme

Words that can be followed by chip (two edible, two not):
wood chip - 17a Natalie Wood ["Splendor in the Grass" actress]
computer chip - 27a home computer [Telecommuter's need]
chocolate chip - 43a hot chocolate [Drink with a marshmallow]
potato chip - 57a couch potato [Common remote control holder]
My Solution


Grid art by Sympathy

Crucimetrics
Grid15x15 with 36 (16.2%) black squares
Answers78 (average length 4.85)
Scrabble points297 (average 1.57)
Letters usedABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
Clues

6a flier [Pilot] was the start for me, looking ahead to 8d I do [Altar vow] to be sure of the spelling. When Magdalen and I said those two little words, there wasn't an altar in sight, just the beautiful bay window of Fountains Hall. 6d fleece [Sheep's coat]; 15a ledge [Pigeon's perch]; 7d lewd [Smutty]; 9d ego [Freud subject].

17a Natalie Wood ["Splendor in the Grass" actress] - the film I most remember her in is West Side Story, though Natalie's singing wasn't ultimately used. 18d item [News bit]; 24a sec ["Hold on a ___!"]; 20a unedited [Like raw film]; 4d glad [Happy]; 3d eaten [Consumed]; 1d sinus [It may be blocked when you have a cold]; 1a siege [Prolonged attack]; 2d inane [Nonsensical].

23a sen [One of 100 in D.C.] - not currency this time, but senators, whose appointment by governors is apt to be controversial. 14a in all [Counting everything]; 5d Ellison [Ralph who wrote "Invisible Man"] - the story of an African American who considers himself socially invisible, not the H.G. Wells story; 31a unpin [Remove a fastener from]; 27d him [That guy].

32d Nero [Adopted son of Claudius] - I, Claudius is a very readable, but historically unreliable account of the story - it was made into a memorable TV series starring Derek Jacobi. 40a are ["___ we there yet?"]; 31d Utah [Where the 2002 Winter Olympics were held] - specifically Salt Lake City; 36a term [Six years, for a 23-Across] - senatorial term.

27a home computer [Telecommuter's need] - I had home internet to start with, which seemed more apt. As you can see from this picture, there's a lot of competition for the computers in our home:



I've not come across any 10d redcaps [Station porters] in real life, but have a vivid image of them from movies such as North by Northwest; 25d boas [Feathery scarves]; 26d amps [Concert equipment]; 21a clean [Fresh from the shower]; 25a baaed [Bleated]; 22d leu [Romanian money] - subdivided into 100 bani, plural lei; 19a e'er [Always, in verse]; 16a pro [In favor of].

11d speed trap [Ticket locale] - the New York State troopers like to have one on I-81 just north of the border with Pennsylvania - they must think the PA troopers are a little lax. 12d area [Geographical statistic]; 11a sat [Used a stool]; 13d torn [Of two minds]; 29d each [Apiece]; 30d ryes [Loaves with seeds].

35a Ray [Tampa Bay baseballer] - it would have been Devil Ray, I gather, but the demon has been cast out. 39a pace [Kind of car seen at Indy]; 39d Poe ["The Fall of the House of Usher" writer] - competes with Melville as my fav US writer; 42a sophs [Second-year students, for short] - in the UK we tend to use the more prosaic "second year" - Magdalen tells me I have to learn this sequence:
first year - freshman
second year - sophomore
third year - junior
fourth year - senior
34a raps [Emulates Eminem]; 37a bless ["Lord, ___ this food" (grace words)]; 37d bloc [Voting group]; 38d lock [Combination ___]; 41a clod [Blockhead]; 28d credo [Words to live by] - creed was a viable alternative until cross-checking decided matters; 41d chances [Odds]; 43a hot chocolate [Drink with a marshmallow]; 44d cri [Dernier ___ (latest fashion)]; 47a track [Train's place].

33d pretty boy [Candidate for male modeling] - seeing this answer, I could only think of parrots. 56a hub [Atlanta, for Delta] - Hartfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is the world's busiest; 60a I to ["What was ___ think?"]; 53d ruts [What wagon wheels may make]; 52d chip [Word that can follow the ends of 17-, 27-, 43- and 57-Across]; 52a Cryin' [1993 Aerosmith hit with the lyric "Love is sweet misery"]; 63a psy. [Freud subj.]; 45d leches [Dirty old men]; 46d atop [Perched on]; 48a ETA [Pilot's announcement, for short]; 54a Scotsmen [Most kilt wearers].

42d stators [Fixed parts of motors] - a rather crosswordy answer. 65a Swede [Stockholm native]; 49d image [Spitting ___]; 51d snore [Sound asleep?] - very neat; 62a Roger [Critic Ebert] - a film critic I first heard of doing last Wednesday's puzzle; 57a couch potato [Common remote control holder]; 55d stow [Pack away]; 50d meted [Parceled (out)]; 49a IM's [Some AOL communications] - ie instant messagings; 54d scum [Pond gunk]; 59d use [Exhaust, with "up"]; 64a seems [Looks like]; 58d one [Long-distance number starter]; 61a ensue [Happen as a consequence].

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