Sunday, February 15, 2009

NYT Sunday 2/15/09 - The Blogging Is Not Enough

This post is going to be more stinting than usual - Magdalen's cousin Coffee Jones is over with her family and it's been difficult to drag myself away from the fun and games to work on a blog post. How can you tell a 10-year-old that you can't play model trains with him because you have to write about a boring old crossword?

I managed to find a different partner among the visitors to help solve the Sunday New York Times puzzle: Coffee Jones's husband Dino_Burger volunteered as my Nestor, and his world-class knowledge of baseball came in very handy.

Overall, our time of 90 minutes or so wasn't great and a big hold-up in the NW corner was partly responsible.
Clue of the puzz 1: 24d roots [Gray location?]
Clue of the puzz 2: 90d at ease [Drill bit?]

Double-O Seven: seven phrases with an O doubled, making a pun:
23a boob for apples [Numbskull who likes Macintosh computers?]
33a T. Boone steaks [Entrees for oilman Pickens?]
63a sixteen toons [Between a dozen and a score of Disney creations?]
68a photo oops [Overexposure or redeye?]
71a Team Roosters [South Carolina Gamecocks?]
101a Toys for Toots [Kids' whistles and horns?]
114a roadside stoop [Place to sit by the highway?]

Grid art by Sympathy

Compilers Jim Leeds / Will Shortz
Grid21x21 with 68 (15.4%) black squares
Answers140 (average length 5.33)
Theme squares83 (22.3%)
Scrabble points545 (average 1.46)
New To Me

22a Toronto [1992-93 World Series champs]. Dino_Burger knew right away this referred to the Blue Jays. Since that didn't fit, we knew what the answer had to be.

26a Emmet [Irish patriot Robert]. I hadn't heard of this guy before. A British education tends to skint on the troubled history of Ireland. I know emmet more as a dialect word for an ant; in Cornwall, it also means a tourist, presumably because of their ant-like progress around the crowded country lanes.

32a pod [___ people (sci-fi figures)]. These seem to feature in the Invasion of the Body Snatchers movies. Now we should all be worried about the iPod people.

43a Berra [Who said "It gets late early out there"]. Sounds like a Berraism, said Dino_Burger.

85d lad [Knickers wearer]. I gather that "knickers" in the US can mean knickerbockers. In Britain, it only means women's or girl's underwear, suggesting a rather kinky lad to me!

The Rest

1a layers [Some people dress in them in the winter]; 7a Anacin [Bayer alternative]; 13a imagism [Poetry movement of Ezra Pound]; 20a anemia [Result of vitamin B12 deficiency]; 21a war ace [Military hero]; 25a overdid [Exercised too much]; 27a ore [Iron ___]; 28a efts [Reddish-orange creatures]; 30a engine [Caboose's opposite]; 31a lied [Schubert composition]; 35a sen. [John McCain, e.g.: Abbr.]; 36a gets to [Bothers]; 38a grow [Burgeon]; 39a not ["___ interested"]; 40a pros [Mavens]; 41a Mus. [Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, e.g.: Abbr.]; 47a cheer ["Gimme an A ...!," e.g.]; 49a Serena [Williams of tennis]; 52a soonest [At the earliest opportunity]; 56a cays [A lot of the Bahamas]; 57a it in ["Get ___ writing"]; 59a Nat [Turner of history]; 60a Auntie [Mame, for one]; 61a ands [Pluses]; 62a A-OK [Just fine]; 66a stria [Narrow groove]; 70a stint [Be frugal]; 73a ooh [La-la preceder]; 75a alee [Sheltered]; 76a retied [Tightened, as shoelaces]; 77a ovi- [Egg: Prefix]; 78a mdse. [Warehouse contents: Abbr.]; 79a terr. [Abbr. on maps of the Old West]; 80a one-step [Ragtime dance]; 82a settee [Parlor piece]; 84a bless [Sanctify]; 86a merit [Excellence]; 88a yaw [Rocket measure]; 89a bras [Intimate apparel]; 90a arc [Rocket's path, maybe]; 93a each [A throw]; 96a glared [Was blinding]; 98a zag [Sharp turn back]; 106a dew [Drops on the lawn]; 107a sera [Roman evening]; 108a etcher [Dürer, for one]; 109a Anne [Saint ___, mother of the Virgin Mary]; 110a Uma [Fox News anchor Pemmaraju]; 111a Aires [Buenos ___]; 112a at large [Loose]; 117a seedman [Planter]; 118a aurist [One treating disorders of the ear]; 119a Steele [Shelby who wrote "The Content of Our Character"]; 120a eddying [Swirling]; 121a dryers [G.E. products]; 122a tossed [Cast].

1d labels [Geoffrey Beene, Bill Blass and others]; 2d anomie [Cultural instability]; 3d yeomen [Navy officers]; 4d embed [Plant]; 5d rift [Start of a breakup]; 6d Sao [___ Miguel Island]; 7d awards [Edgar and Tony]; 8d nape [Where a redneck gets red]; 9d Arp [Pioneering Dadaist]; 10d Caleb [Novelist Carr]; 11d ice fog [Arctic weather phenomenon]; 12d Nestor [Counselor to the Greeks at Troy]; 13d -ito [Spanish diminutive suffix]; 14d moves [Chess problem specifications]; 15d Aren't [Bing Crosby's "___ You Glad You're You?"]; 16d gorge [Stuff]; 17d Indian [Spicy cuisine]; 18d stinko [Sotted]; 19d modest [Limited in amount]; 29d snob [Superior sort?]; 32d Peoria [Home of Caterpillar]; 33d tour [Band's plan]; 34d ewe's [___ milk]; 36d GRE [Kaplan Review subj.]; 37d T-men [Prohibition enforcers, informally]; 40d pessimism [It "never won any battle," according to Eisenhower]; 42d seniority [It has its privileges]; 44d roan [Bookbinding leather]; 45d routs [No contests]; 46d annotates [Marks in the margin]; 47d canteen [Factory eatery]; 48d hydrate [Moisten]; 49d Sikhs [Many Punjabis]; 50d Naxos [Largest of the Cyclades]; 51d atto- [Quintillionth: Prefix]; 53d étoiles [Leading lights in ballet]; 54d sinners [All people, according to the Bible]; 55d tester [Perfumery employee]; 56d Castro [Revolutionary of 1957]; 58d top o' ["___ the morning!"]; 63d Steve [Carell of "The Office"]; 64d epode [Classical poem]; 65d esos [Those, to Teodoro]; 67d arête [Sharp ridge]; 69d Otos [Dwellers along the Platte, once]; 72d Oder [European boundary river]; 74d Hebrew [Language of Literature Nobelist Shmuel Yosef Agnon]; 78d mewl [Whimper]; 81d pier [Landing place]; 83d tags [IDs]; 87d ta-ta ["Ciao!"]; 89d bread [Scratch]; 91d rotted [Spoiled]; 92d cycled [Competed in a velodrome]; 94d Conrad [Joseph who wrote "Nostromo"]; 95d honour [Order of the British Empire, e.g.]; 97d admits [Makes a member]; 98d zeroes [It's nice when checks have lots of them]; 99d areole [Space on a butterfly's wing]; 100d gasped [Fought for air]; 102d shady [Suspect]; 103d Fermi [Manhattan Project scientist]; 104d organ ["Rock of Ages" accompaniment]; 105d teary [Like some goodbyes]; 107d sites [Internet destinations]; 110d USSR [Mir launcher]; 111d as to [Vis-à-vis]; 113d Eng. [2012 Olympics host: Abbr.]; 115d die [Feel highly embarrassed, in teenspeak]; 116d -est [Superlative finish].

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