Monday, March 30, 2009

NYT Monday 3/30/09 - Go Forth and Multiply

Monday marked the end of our brief UK trip: we departed for the airport in such haste that there was no time to view that day's New York Times crossword - it wasn't till after about 23 hours of traveling that I could tackle the puzzle.

So it was a relief to see the welcoming byline of Andrea Carla Michaels and fill the grid in short order. It seems to me that I barely paused for breath in taking 7 minutes to write in the letters, yet there are some solvers who can accomplish that feat in under 3 minutes - how it's done is still a mystery to me!
Solving time: 7 mins (no cheating)
Theme

Phrases involving multiples, increasing down the grid:
17a single occupancy [Small hotel room specification]
27a Double Indemnity [1944 thriller with Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck]
47a triple layer cake [Baked dessert with lemon filling, maybe]
62a quadruple bypass [Serious heart surgery]
Solution

Andrea Carla Michaels
Grid art by Sympathy [about the grid colors]

Crucimetrics
CompilersAndrea Carla Michaels / Will Shortz
Grid15x15 with 38 (16.9%) black squares
Answers78 (average length 4.79)
Theme squares60 (32.1%)
Scrabble points313 (average 1.67)
Letters usedABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
New To Me

5a Emil [1928 Oscar winner Jannings]. It seems the Swiss-born Emil Jannings won the Oscar for two films: The Way of All Flesh and The Last Command. I don't think that could happen now. In common with many other actors, his Hollywood career ended with the arrival of talkies.



Empire State Building16a Leona [Late hotel queen Helmsley]. Leona Helmsley (1920-2007) was a billionaire hotel operator, nicknamed "The Queen of Mean". Her real estate empire at one time included the Empire State Building. She was convicted of tax evasion and other crimes in 1989.

37a Edie [Falco of "The Sopranos"]. Edie Falco plays Carmela Soprano on the hit series.



Ad astra per aspera38a astra [Ad ___ per aspera (Kansas' motto)]. Literally "through hardship to the stars". Many variants on the wording are in use, such as Per Ardua Ad Astra, the motto of the Royal Air Force.

58a Celia [Oliver's love in "As You Like It"]. I know the "seven ages of man" monologue, but not these characters. Strangely, we had come across a frieze based on the seven ages in Alnwick the day before:

Seven Ages of Man

Noteworthy


26d Omar [Poet Khayyám]. At school I lodged for a term with a retired master who always woke me up with these lines from the Rubaiyat:
Awake! for Morning in the Bowl of Night
Has flung the Stone that puts the Stars to Flight;
And lo! the Hunter of the East has caught
The Sultan's Turret in a Noose of Light.
From the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam translated by Edward FitzGerald
Pledge of Allegiance44d I pledge [Start of a daily school recital]. British kids are spared an oath of allegiance to the monarch. There is a statutory requirement to hold a daily act of collective worship, but this is apparently ignored by the majority of secondary schools.

The Rest

1a jamb [Side of a doorway]; 9a armed [___ and dangerous]; 14a Esai [Actor Morales]; 15a Reno [Western locale called the Biggest Little City in the World]; 20a Tae-Bo [Modern workout system]; 21a whir [Fan sound]; 22a SOS ["Hel-l-lp!"]; 23a Als [Capone and Pacino]; 25a goo [Sticky stuff]; 36a itty [___-bitty]; 39a GTE [Former AT&T rival]; 40a Spencer [Princess Diana's family name]; 42a -ial [Suffix with president]; 43a aerie [Eagle's nest]; 45a Ajax [Trojan War hero]; 46a anni [Years, in Latin]; 50a lat. [Partner of long. in a G.P.S. location]; 51a sac [Small pouch]; 52a She ["___ sells seashells by the seashore" (tongue twister)]; 54a tack [Bulletin board fastener]; 65a verge [Brink]; 66a euro [Continental money]; 67a Toni [Author Morrison]; 68a creed [Words to live by]; 69a Xena [TV's warrior princess]; 70a SSTs [Former jets to J.F.K.].

1d jest [Words said in fun]; 2d Asia [Where India is]; 3d mane [Lion's hair]; 4d big baby [Chronic whiner]; 5d ere [Before, poetically]; 6d meow [Cat's plaint]; 7d inch [1/12 of a foot]; 8d loci [Graph points]; 9d alp [Swiss peak]; 10d reasons [Deduces]; 11d mono [Not stereo]; 12d encs. [Letter attachments: Abbr.]; 13d day [When the sun shines]; 18d loll [Laze about]; 19d urge [Impulse]; 24d seep [Ooze]; 27d dig at [Probe persistently]; 28d otter [Stream critter]; 29d uteri [Wombs]; 30d ideal [Like a score of 10 for 10]; 31d ninja [Japanese fighter]; 32d decay [Go bad, as teeth]; 33d I, Tina [Singer Turner's autobiography]; 34d trank [Drug that calms the nerves, slangily]; 35d Yalie [New Haven collegian]; 40d Sela [Actress Ward]; 41d exes [Old flames]; 46d accepts [Opposite of refuses]; 48d et tu ["___, Brute?"]; 49d racy [Bordering on pornographic]; 52d suer [Litigant]; 53d hare [Tortoise's race opponent]; 55d apex [Peak]; 56d Clue [Word in many a Nancy Drew title]; 57d Kern ["Show Boat" composer Jerome]; 59d Laos [Neighbor of Vietnam]; 60d isn't ["Money ___ everything"]; 61d as is [Sale tag caution]; 62d QVC [Shopping channel]; 63d red [Scarlet]; 64d boa [Feathered neckwear].

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