Tuesday, February 10, 2009

NYT Wednesday 2/11/09 - Dog Day Morning

It's Westminster Dog Show time and we're glued to the TV trying to see if any dog measures up to our Rhody cross. They're all pretty good after their fashion, but I bet they can't do Hala-asana as well as Mimi.

Richard Silvestri seems to be on our wavelength, as there's a kind of subtheme going on with dog breeds: 19a Akita [Dog with an upturned tail], 36a Skye [Terrier type], 1d jowls [Bloodhounds have big ones] and 6d ears [Bloodhounds have big ones].
Solving time: 12 mins (no cheating)

Puns in which k has been removed from a phrase:
17a what a croc [Comment at the reptile exhibition?]
62a PAC animal [Bruin, Golden Bear or Wildcat?]
10d take your pic [Command to a photog?]
24d doc of the bay [Horse vet?]
I anticipated a different vowel would be involved in each case, so it was a bit disappointing to see both croc(k) and doc(k).

The last pun is based on a song that didn't ring a bell with me. Here's Michael Bolton's cover:


Grid art by Sympathy

Compilers Richard Silvestri / Will Shortz
Grid15x15 with 36 (16.0%) black squares
Answers78 (average length 4.85)
Theme squares40 (21.2%)
Scrabble points316 (average 1.67)
New To Me

39a Lobo [New Mexico athlete]. I had to guess this one and was fortunate to know the critical crossing answer 35d. UNM isn't in The Crucy League because it doesn't seem to have been clued as such (yet). If it does, UNM will definitely qualify.

40a twist [O. Henry specialty]. An American writer I don't know enough about. First thing to remember: the guy's real name is William Sydney Porter - might be useful to know that someday.

28d Oswald [Ruby's victim]. I got this answer from cross-checking and only appreciated the reference when checking the Jack Ruby entry in Wikipedia.

44d science ["Nova" subject]. Had to guess this one. OIC Nova is a television series. Science series have to portentous-sounding names like the UK's Equinox and Horizon.

56d idol [Tiger Beat cover subject]. Nothing to do with the greatest golfer of all time, Tiger Beat is a teen magazine.

62d Pax [Irene's counterpart in Roman myth]. I didn't know this for sure, but it was very guessable: we get pacify from the Latin and irenic from the Greek.


1a Jabba [___ the Hutt of "Star Wars"]. The Star Wars movies were hugely popular with computer programmers of my generation, but left little impression on me. This is regrettable, because it's clearly essential knowledge for the NYT puzzle. This character is hard to forget, however.

38a Ugli [___ fruit]. A grapefruit and tangerine hybrid. I suppose they could have called it a gangerine or a tapefruit, but the developers took one look at what they got and called it Ugli.

5d anapest [Bit of a limerick]. Anapests are short-short-long, so limericks are inherently anapestic. Here's one that was supposed to be a favorite of Woodrow Wilson:
I sat next the Duchess at tea.
It was just as I thought it would be.
Her rumblings abdominal
Were simply abominable
And everyone thought it was me!

11d aria ["Celeste Aida," e.g.]. I don't begrudge this answer's regular appearance when the clue calls to mind one of Verdi's most sublime creations. Here's hoping the New York Met will make Aida one of 2009-10 season HD simulcasts.

30d Igor [Prince of opera]. A Borodin opera that I've heard of, but not seen. He famously started out as a distinguished chemist.

35d Abou ["___ Ben Adhem" (Leigh Hunt poem)]. I knew this only as the basis for a Not the Nine O'Clock News sketch in which Rowan Atkinson renders the critical last line of each stanza as only he can:

40d Thant [U follower] - nice clue, but I still got the reference to U Thant pretty quickly.

The Rest

6a ego ["Me, me, me" attitude]; 9a stags [Parties where dresses are rarely seen]; 14a ocean [Key location]; 15a art [Works on the wall?]; 16a caret [^]; 20a lol [Online chuckle]; 21a puss [Kisser]; 22a sleazy [Underhanded]; 23a solder [Joining alloy]; 25a splay [Spread out]; 27a Oslo [Where the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded]; 29a heroics [Daring actions]; 33a enact [Put into effect]; 41a rout [Mop the floor with]; 42a as of [From]; 43a hate [Find awful]; 44a spree [Wild time]; 45a neutral [Not taking sides]; 47a deci- [Prefix with meter]; 49a hands [Crew]; 51a ticket [Depot purchase]; 55a bisect [Halve]; 58a wane [Grow dim]; 60a Ely [English cathedral city]; 61a adobe [Hacienda brick]; 64a so far [Till now]; 65a Ali [Rumble in the Jungle victor]; 66a crate [Orange box]; 67a slays [Does in]; 68a Xed [Marked off]; 69a eeler [Conger catcher].

2d achoo [Sound before a blessing?]; 3d be-all [Ultimate aim]; 4d bat [Baseball club]; 7d gross [Dozen dozen]; 8d OTC [Like some stocks, for short]; 9d scalar [Non-vector]; 12d Getz [Stan on the sax]; 13d stay [Hotel visit]; 18d curl [Weightlifter's maneuver]; 22d sleet [Weather caution for motorists]; 26d phys. ed. [Gym class]; 31d clue [What a private eye may eye]; 32d site [Something to build on]; 33d élan [Spirited style]; 34d nose [Plane part]; 37d kit [Baby beaver]; 46d racers [Grand Prix participants]; 48d etna [Sight from Taormina]; 50d swale [Low-lying wetland]; 52d Kemal [___ Atatürk, founder of modern Turkey]; 53d elate [Please no end]; 54d Tyler [Polk's predecessor]; 55d bass [Stereo knob]; 57d sofa [Soft seat]; 59d acid [Timothy Leary dropped it]; 63d ire [Pique condition?].

1 comment:

Magdalen said...

You had to pick Michael Bolton's cover of "Dock of the Bay?" To paraphrase FMC, Dude, that's just wrong!

Here's a cute visual (someone's granddad sitting by a lake -- although it is a dock -- at sunset) with the proper Otis Redding version: