Monday, January 12, 2009

New York Times, Tue, Jan 13, 2009 Daniel Kantor and Jay Kaskel / Will Shortz

Tuesday's puzzle with a nutty theme boosted my confidence: it took a little less time than Monday's and I felt that the solution was secure - if there were uncertainties, they crossed with answers I was sure of.
Solving time: 18 mins (no cheating)
5d Amelia [Aviator Earhart] provided an easy way in, as this American heroine is famous all over the world; 6d LOL [Online guffaw] - officially short for "laughing out loud", I usually read it as "lots of laughs" for some reason; 5a a lot [Oodles]; 8d trait [Brown eyes or baldness, e.g.] - I'm showing distinct signs of one of these; 21a pig [Oinker]; 15a moor [Anchor]; 7d oomph [Get-up-and-go]; 20a goal [Shout at a soccer game] is the English spelling, but it's something like goooooooooooooooooooaaaaaaal for the Spanish:

2d emu [Outback runner] - the first of two animals down under; 14a iMac [Apple variety] - not the edible variety; 4d ecto [Outer: Prefix] - as in ectoplasm, the outer layer of a medium; 3d kangaroo [Outback hopper] - seen right by the emu; 1d dia [24 horas] - I really have to take Spanish 101; 1a deke [Hockey fake-out] is new to me, but it shouldn't be as it's in at least two dictionaries I own - short for decoy and coined in the 1960s apparently.

24a ska [Reggae relative] - crossword compilers prefer ska to reggae; 24d sow [Boar's mate]; 17a Aunt Selma [Marge's sister, to Bart Simpson] was my first thematic answer - as I've seen this sort of thing before in the New York Times, I suspected immediately that NSTU would be jumbled in the other thematic answers; 30a oar [Rowboat implement]; 25d Kahn [Madeline of "Young Frankenstein"] - a favorite movie comedy and one of Mel Brooks's best; 33a whoa [Equestrian's "Stop!"]; 34d again [Once more] - encore, bis.

26a sight unseen [Not a good way to buy a car] - especially a used one; 18d SASE [Postpaid encl.] - self-addressed stamped envelope; 31a ear [What a barber has to trim around] - well we hope so; 27d grass [Common knee stain for kids]; 35a A Train [Transport in Duke Ellington's theme song] - I'd have no difficulty getting to Harlem thanks to this song:

36d TNT [Big boom maker] - knowing the expansion to tri-nitro-toluene was useful later; 37d roans [Dappled horses]; 22d gulag [Soviet labor camp]; 28d Neil [Moonwalking Armstrong]; 29d señor [Mexican mister]; 32a leery [Suspicious]; 11d loiter [Hang around]; 10d ado [Fuss]; 19a Loire [French river valley with many châteaux]; 12d surrey [Two-seated carriage] - this is familiar from Oklahoma! of course; 9a salsa [Tortilla chip dip]; 13d ate in [Had dinner at home]; 23a tri- [The first "T" in 36-Down]; 16a ad out [Deuce follower in tennis] - short for "advantage out", when the server loses the point; 9d Sal ["My gal" of song] - a musical and a plane.

40d Tiegs [Supermodel Cheryl]; 43a Arista [Popular record label] - named after New York City's secondary school honor society; 38a no guts no glory [Risk-taker's credo] - new to me and I'm still not clear of its origins; 42d yolk [Center of an egg]; 55a eke [Squeeze (out)]; 45d dye [Secret of many a redhead]; 51a Sly [Stallone's nickname]; 44a rood [Crucifix].

52a midnight sun [Seasonal Arctic phenomenon] forced 39d ursi [Bears: Lat.] changed from ursa - in cryptics, the genus is usually clued with a plural, so I got confused here; 47d admire [Regard highly]; 46a raise [Reward for a job well done]; 60a reins [Jockey's handful]; 62d SAS [Carrier to Oslo], short for Scandinavian Airlines System; 61d nil [Zippo]; 70a heels [Shoes that add inches to one's height]; 52d marsh [Reedy place]; 67a Syria [Neighbor of Israel]; 46d rib eye [Steakhouse offering] - a cut of beef from the outer side of the ribs; 56a ABM [1972 treaty subj.] - see Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.

57a sew [Darn]; 63a mixed nuts [What 17-, 26-, 38-, and 52-Across contain] justified what was happening in the other theme entries; 41d rose bush [Thorny shrub]; 69a Asia [___ Minor]; 66d sap [Easy mark]; 65d tio [Spanish uncle] - thinking of Tio Pepe (Uncle Pepe) makes this easy for me, but Americans don't seem to go for sherry. 72a IHOP [Flapjack eatery, for short] - International House of Pancakes - they also have branches in Canada and Mexico, so can be excused the expansive name.

50d a nod ["With a wink and ___ ..."]; 59d B'nai [___ B'rith]; 49d surest [Most confident]; 48a NSA [Secret govt. group] - they even have a secret website; 64d XXX [Hard-core film "rating"]; 58a Robb [___ Report (luxury lifestyle magazine)] - not for Civic owners; 53d hem in [Encircle]; 54d twine [Rough cord]; 68a INXS ["Need You Tonight" band, 1987]; 71a next! [Deli queue call].


xwd_fiend said...

Damn my carelessness! Did this in the Herald Trib tonight and after stopping the watch at 10:05, knew that 'NO GUTS TO GLORY' didn't quite make any sense. Too vain to check all the downs, so assumed 25D was something other than KAHN. Doubly annoying as Times Cryptic was a piece of cake, and sub-15 for the pair would have been something to brag about!

Crossword Man said...

I suppose No Guts No Glory might just be your motto then?