Saturday, February 7, 2009

NYT Sunday 2/8/09 - Get In Your PJs

After weeks of below freezing temperatures, we're seeing a real thaw this week. Not enough to frolic outside in our PJs, but it will be nice to see solid ground again ... and stop burning wood at the rate of three wheelbarrow-loads a day - stocks are starting to run low.
Clue of the puzz: 66a arsonist [One with a burning desire]
Magdalen and I solved this puzzle together Saturday night and took around an hour. The area to the bottom left needed some googling: we didn't know the Steely Dan album Aja and being kid-free, aren't concerned about V-chips.


Nine phrases with the initials PJ. Hence the title Pajama Party which was neatly referenced by clue 53d title ["Pajama Party," e.g.].

This type of theme is popular in the NPR Sunday Puzzle on-air challenges, but I don't recall seeing it in a crossword before.
23a petroleum jelly [ChapStick alternative]
33a Parachute Jump [Bygone Coney Island attraction]
52a practical joke [Trick]
70a pickle-jar [Deli receptacle]
90a Peter Jennings [One of the former Big Three in news]
105a poetic justice [Comeuppance]
122a pineapple juice [Dole offering]
42d Papa Johns [Pizza Hut competitor]
49d plain-Jane [Hardly a beauty queen]

A couple of these were new to me: I only know of Coney Island from movies like Annie Hall and they didn't feature the Parachute Jump. The disused structure looks to be quite a landmark - it must have been quite an attraction when it was running.

Also new to me was the World News Tonight anchor, Peter Jennings. Magdalen tells me that the other members of the triumvirate are Tom Brokaw and Dan Rather, both now retired. British News presenters tend to have shorter time in the spotlight, although Richard Baker had a 28 year career.


Grid art by Sympathy

Compilers Alan Arbesfeld / Will Shortz
Grid21x21 with 68 (15.4%) black squares
Answers140 (average length 5.33)
Theme squares107 (28.7%)
Scrabble points641 (average 1.72)
The Rest

1a Piaf ["La Vie en Rose" singer]; 5a Nebr [Hastings, ___, where Kool-Aid was invented: Abbr.]; 9a AARP [Powerful D.C. lobby]; 13a onsets [Geneses]; 19a en famille [At home, abroad]; 21a Moe's [Homer's hangout]; 22a fellow [Chap]; 25a Narita [Airport where 91-Down flies]; 26a Ypres [W.W. I battle site in Belgium]; 27a croon [Sing "The Moon Got in My Eyes," e.g.]; 28a ichor [Blood of the gods, in Greek myth]; 30a hem [Clothes line]; 31a stare at [Ogle]; 36a SSRs [Red states?: Abbr.]; 38a daw [Cousin of a crow]; 39a opera [Price production]; 40a apps [Computer programs, for short]; 44a Hi-Ho [Onetime Ritz rival]; 46a OK's [Initials, perhaps]; 48a typos [Printerr's misteaks?]; 56a trolley [Track runner]; 58a Sophie [Oscar-winning role for Meryl Streep]; 59a money men [Backers and bankers]; 61a Eads [___ Bridge, historic 1874 span across the Mississippi]; 62a EPA [Org. with an Office of Water]; 63a Tribeca [Manhattan area next to Chinatown]; 68a Jul. [Start of the third qtr.]; 73a Ron ["Hellboy" star Perlman]; 74a drones on [Talks monotonously]; 77a element [Mercury, e.g.]; 79a jam [Tie-up]; 82a oohs [Circus cries]; 83a MD degree [Residency requirement, for some]; 86a oo-la-la ["Hubba hubba!"]; 88a pen pals [Foreign correspondents?]; 93a Essen [German city whose name means "to eat"]; 94a sit [Invitation to a visitor]; 95a sala [Room in una residencia]; 96a teak [Deck material]; 97a naval [Maritime]; 100a Ann ["Barbara ___"]; 103a limb [Life partner?]; 110a leasers [Some car shoppers]; 115a ups [Good times]; 116a share [Cut]; 117a Tammi [Motown singer Terrell]; 119a Nolan [Christopher who directed "The Dark Knight"]; 120a Latini [Where "amo, amas, amat" is learned]; 125a precip. [Rain, briefly]; 126a Ezer [Former Israeli president Weizman]; 127a tall order [Challenge]; 128a steins [Bass holders, maybe]; 129a dewy [Moist]; 130a yays [Triumphant cries]; 131a Sert [Noted Spanish muralist].

1d Pepys [1666 London fire chronicler]; 2d inept [Klutzy]; 3d AFTRA [Broadcast worker's union]; 4d -farer [Ending with way or sea]; 5d nil [Goose egg]; 6d electric [Exciting]; 7d blur [Confuse]; 8d remop [Wash again, as the floor]; 9d Amen-ra [Egyptian god of the universe]; 10d AOL [Co. with a triangular logo]; 11d relic [You can dig it]; 12d psychos [Whack jobs]; 13d of note [Significant]; 14d nearer to [Closer by]; 15d SLR [Canon type, in brief]; 16d Elihu [Grant's first secretary of state ___ Washburne]; 17d totem [Symbol on a pole]; 18d swamp [Overwhelm]; 20d Moses [Exodus figure]; 24d Joad [Fictional Tom]; 29d hup [March word]; 32d ashier [More pallid]; 34d awoke [Came to]; 35d Jay Leno ["Headlines" presenter]; 37d sha [Doo-wop syllable]; 40d apse [Recess at Notre Dame]; 41d prop [Set piece]; 43d sch. [Auburn, e.g.: Abbr.]; 45d Olmec [Ancient Mexican people]; 47d key [Significant]; 50d OEDs [They start A-B, C, D-E, etc.]; 51d syst. [Part of CBS: Abbr.]; 54d Jock [Musclehead]; 55d on alert [Ready for action]; 56d terre [Land at Orly?]; 57d RNs ["ER" extras, for short]; 60d ma'am [Word said while tipping one's hat]; 64d iPods [Receivers of some downloads]; 65d bind [Tie up]; 67d Orton ["Loot" playwright]; 69d unspent [Like money in the bank]; 71d E. Lee [Robt. ___]; 72d jeers [Pans in comedy clubs]; 74d dope [Info]; 75d roes [Some deer]; 76d sml [Tee sizes, on signs]; 78d no-name [Average Joe, e.g.]; 80d alga [Aquatic organism]; 81d Mask [Jim Carrey film, with "The"]; 84d epi- [Dermal opening?]; 85d get at [Intimate]; 87d lit [Soused]; 89d Anaïs Nin [Who wrote "The only abnormality is the incapacity to love"]; 91d JAL [Flier to 25-Across, for short]; 92d Eli Lilly [Prozac maker]; 94d slurped [Didn't drink daintily]; 98d V-chips [Means of parental control]; 99d Aja [1977 double-platinum jazz-rock album]; 101d nitery [Bistro, informally]; 102d NCAA [College World Series org.]; 104d banjo [Hand-picked thing]; 105d pulps [Dime novels and such]; 106d op art [Eye-popping canvases]; 107d Estee [Popular women's fragrance]; 108d seize [Stop working, as an engine, with "up"]; 109d empty [Meaningless]; 111d sours [Some whiskey drinks]; 112d elide [Pass over]; 113d racer [Indy entrant]; 114d Snert [Hägar's dog]; 118d MPAA [Film-rating org.]; 121d ici [Where you are on a Métro map?]; 123d new [Just out]; 124d els [Dallas center?]


Magdalen said...

Was it really an hour? Well, we were also having supper, so it's not like a concerted effort. Also, I'll be honest: I bailed after we got the last thematic entry. I don't know that this would have made a difference. It's not like I'd heard of Steeley Dan even having a jazz album. My friend Coffee Jones is a big fan of that group, but I believe she likes the drug-related songs the best.

Bill Butler said...

What a joy to see Richard Baker associated with the New York Times crossword puzzle. I never thought I'd see the day :-)

DONALD said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DONALD said...

Does the colouring of certain squares have reference?

Crossword Man said...

The square colours are an indication of letter frequency. See Crucimetrics for a complete explanation.