Saturday, January 17, 2009

New York Times, Sun, Jan 18, 2009 HIGH FIVE. Randolph Ross / Will Shortz

Guess what I got in the post today? A fancy-looking cream-colored envelope containing a gold-embossed invitation to the inauguration of Barack H. Obama and Joseph R. Biden, Jr.

Why a non-American should be singled out for this I don't know.

I am really looking forward to Tuesday's events, though, as I've never really paid close attention to an inauguration. Now I have much more reason to do so, as I am expecting to live out my days in the US and hope to become a citizen as early as the rules permit. So I have quite a vested interest in the success of the Obama presidency.

The theme of today's puzzle didn't come as a huge surprise, then. As usual for a Sunday puzzle, I solved this one with my wife Magdalen and we completed it in half an hour or so:
Clue of the puzz: 81a rhyme [What cats and rats do];

Entries with O-B-A-M-A in sequence, though not necessarily consecutive:
23a Old Black Magic ["That" something in an Arlen/Mercer tune]
25a global climate [Kyoto Treaty topic]
36a golfball marker [Links accessory];
51a cowboy hat maker [Stetson, for one];
67a God Bless America [Berlin production];
89a Robin and Marian [1976 Connery/Hepburn film];
98a Robert McNamara [Kennedy/Johnson cabinet member];
112a Honor Blackman [She played the Bond girl in "Goldfinger"];
120a Mobile, Alabama [Hank Aaron's hometown];
We love the three above entries that have extra significance in the context: 23a and 112a (when interpreted as honor black man) and 67a, of course.

Our Solution

Grid21x21 with 74 (16.9%) black squares
Answers140 (average length 5.24)
Scrabble points565 (average 1.54)
Clues of Note

45a GMs [A.L. and N.L. traders] - General Managers in baseball - Magdalen claimed not to understand this clue.

92a egad! ["Glorioski!"] - "Glorioski!" seems to be an explanation of surprise, though it's hardly equivalent to "egad!", says The Oracle. Definitely something I should add to my vocabulary and see what people make of it.

73d the go [What busy folks are on] - another great clue.

114d Namu [Movie whale] - no sooner do I learn "Nanu, Nanu" than this factoid presses for admission to the old brain-box:

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