Sunday, March 29, 2009

NYT Sunday 3/29/09 - Tower Blocks

Magdalen and I solved the Sunday New York Times on a bright morning in North Queensferry before heading back to York. It seemed to take us about half an hour: encountering a new rebus square stalled us briefly, but usually allowed another two letters to be written in the symmetrical position, speeding things up elsewhere.

Alnwick CastleFor variety, we chose the east coast route for our return journey to York: it offers intermittent views over the Firth of Forth and the North Sea. We broke for lunch at Alnwick (prounounced ANNICK), whose famous castle is now even better known as a location used in making the Harry Potter movies. The castle was still closed for the winter, but one of our servers at lunch described how she'd been an extra.
Solving time: 30 mins (no cheating)
Clue of the puzz: 61a ad in [Deuce follower]
Theme

118a Eiffel Tower [Landmark inaugurated 3/31/1889]. Its shape is suggested by nine rebus squares containing the initials ET ("and" in French, as referenced by 67-Across). The main theme answers are:
26a An American in Paris [1951 Oscar-winning film whose title suggests a visitor to the 118-Across]
45a Château Lafite [Wine enjoyed by 26-Across, maybe]
67a The French Connection [1971 Oscar-winning film whose title is hinted at nine times in this grid]
52d café-au-lait [Morning refreshment for 26-Across?]
55d patisserie [Napoleon's place, frequented by 26-Across?]
French words were used for several of the answers crossing rebus squares:
93a etude [Chopin's "Butterfly" or "Winter Wind"]
95d étagères [Snow globe holders]
117d etre [To be abroad]
121d etui [Pins and needles' place]
Solution

Elizabeth C. Gorski
Grid art by Sympathy

Crucimetrics
CompilersElizabeth C. Gorski / Will Shortz
Grid21x21 with 79 (17.9%) black squares
Answers142 (average length 5.10)
Theme squares89 (24.6%)
Scrabble points553 (average 1.53)
Letters usedABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
New To Me

29a Crowe ["Cinderella Man" co-star, 2005]. Cinderella Man was the nickname of heavyweight boxing champ James J. Braddock. The movie is inspired by his story and includes the legendary fight with a boxer that frequents crosswords: Max Baer.



31a Tomei [Actress Marisa] and 37d Lumet ["Before the Devil Knows You're Dead" director, 2007]. I've grouped these two clues, as Marisa Tomei stars as the finance director's wife in this Sidney Lumet movie:



York Mint Patty88a mint patty [York product]. Not the York we were headed back to, but York, PA - birthplace of York Mint Patties. Pennsylvania is rich in its associations with chocolate companies and I'm looking forward to "learning" more about them.

92a Tama [Author Janowitz]. Tama Janowitz is one of the four "brat pack" authors. Slaves of New York is based on her 1986 collection of short stories .



123a a Tail ["Shake ___ Feather" (1967 hit)]. Originally a hit for The Five Du-Tones, the song has been covered numerous times, notably by Ray Charles in The Blues Brothers:



Raspberry Beret4d Prince ["Raspberry Beret" singer]. A Raspberry Beret might protect you from Purple Rain.

9d Eric [Playwright Bogosian]. Eric Bogosian's 1987 drama Talk Radio, about a Cleveland-area shock jock, was made into a movie.



15d Ned Rorem ["Bertha" composer]. Bertha is a one-act opera - a little-performed parody of Shakespeare's history plays, intended for children.

28d Nerf [___ ball]. Nerf is a soft foam that's used to make balls of various sizes that are safe for indoor use.



58d Arn [Royal son of the comics]. Arn is the firstborn son of Prince Valiant and Queen Aleta in the Prince Valiant comic strip. I didn't know that - would anybody?

102d Horton [Fictional elephant]. I wasn't brought up on Dr. Seuss so have some catching up to do. Horton is voiced by Jim Carrey in the Horton Hears a Who! movie.



Noteworthy

22a Elektra [Strauss opera]. Richard, not Johann. Elektra is a great opera, but not the best introduction to Strauss: its intense music is as demanding on the audience as on the soprano singing the title role.



Judy and Liza56a Liza [One of Judy Garland's girls]. A round-about way of cluing Liza Minnelli.

61a ad in [Deuce follower]. This should have been obvious, but I kept thinking of trey - a neat clue.

The Rest

1a adaptor [Electrical gizmo]; 8a beach [Umbrella locale]; 13a sunspot [It's got magnetic pull]; 20a go broke [Lose one's shirt]; 21a Aretha [1986 self-titled album whose cover was Andy Warhol's last work]; 23a arrives [Achieves success]; 24a liner [Queen Mary, e.g.]; 25a endears [Makes lovable]; 30a eye on [Keep an ___]; 34a sell for [Bring at market]; 40a RSVPs [Answers, quickly]; 44a ABA [Legal org.]; 50a oop [Alley ___]; 51a botches [Messes up]; 53a rumor ["___ has it ..."]; 54a compote [Fruity bowlful]; 57a Goa [India's smallest state]; 59a dets. [Police dept. employees]; 60a dab [Tiny application]; 62a as of [Beginning]; 63a INRI [Letters on a cross]; 65a aura [Mystique]; 66a toot [Binge]; 73a aaa [Fine rating]; 74a e-ticket [Modern traveler's purchase]; 75a C is [Sue Grafton's "___ for Corpse"]; 76a accursed [Doomed]; 81a NCR [Co. that makes A.T.M.'s]; 82a glossily [How photography books are usually printed]; 87a thole [Gunwale pin]; 91a Henie [Skating star Sonja]; 94a reset [Adjust, as a clock]; 96a ran a [___ temperature (was feverish)]; 97a aspish [Venomous]; 99a seethe [Bubble over]; 103a anises [Licorice-flavored seeds]; 105a tatted [Like a lace collar, maybe]; 107a Tahoe [Geographically named S.U.V.]; 108a agreed ["I'm with you!"]; 109a hes [Cock and bull]; 110a area [Surveyor's measure]; 112a ser. [Rev.'s address]; 113a Elea [Philosopher Zeno of ___]; 114a cap [Jockey's wear]; 116a onset [Beginning]; 121a eons [Some collars and jackets]; 122a leer [Dirty look]; 124a O'Hare [United Airlines hub]; 125a unci [Hook-shaped parts of brains]; 126a mdse. [Inventory: Abbr.]; 127a lyres [Cousins of zithers]; 128a no-nos [Taboos]; 129a ides [Midmonth date].

1d aga [Turkish title]; 2d d'Or [Palme ___ (prize at Cannes)]; 3d abra [Start of a spell]; 5d tovarich [Soviet comrade]; 6d Okemo [___ Mountain (Vermont ski resort)]; 7d resew [Mend, in a way]; 8d Bali [Tourist haven east of Java]; 10d Aetna [Insurance giant]; 11d Chen [Julie of "The Early Show"]; 12d Hari [Mata ___]; 13d seepy [Poorly drained]; 14d ulnae [Arms runners?]; 16d skeins [Knitter's stash]; 17d PTAs [Class-conscious grps.?]; 18d Orr [Peace Nobelist John Boyd ___]; 19d TAs [Prof.'s helpers]; 27d rest [Dormancy]; 31d tabla [Small drum of India]; 32d oboist [Orchestra member]; 33d matzoh [Square meal component?]; 35d eer [Suffix with election]; 36d laud [Hail]; 38d Flos [Andy Capp's wife and others]; 39d oar [Rowing trophy]; 41d voodoo [It may be bewitching]; 42d potion [It may be bewitching]; 43d spent [Dog-tired]; 46d hegiras [Long flights]; 47d as one [In concert]; 48d I care [Words of empathy]; 49d tobacco [Popular vice]; 60d dun [Pester for payment]; 64d ice ["Rhyme Pays" rapper]; 65d a net [Work without ___]; 68d fare [MetroCard payment]; 69d hint [Comment from over the shoulder, maybe]; 70d CCCP [Soyuz letters]; 71d okra [Vegetable in Cajun cuisine]; 72d Tish [Mrs. Addams, to Gomez]; 76d atta [Lead-in to girl]; 77d chastened [Admonished]; 78d compasses [Circle makers]; 79d emu [Swift-running bird]; 80d did [Accomplished]; 82d GTE [Verizon forerunner]; 83d Lys [River of France and Belgium]; 84d in a second [Shortly]; 85d line dance [Macarena, for one]; 86d yeas [Congressional assents]; 89d nest [Home in a 90-Down]; 90d tree [See 89-Down]; 93d ethereal [Light]; 98d sta. [RR stop]; 100d easels [Stands before a business meeting, maybe]; 101d Ethel [Jazzy Waters]; 104d NRA [It has many arms: Abbr.]; 106d deity [Part of a pantheon]; 108d Alero [Oldsmobile model]; 109d Holm [Actress Celeste]; 111d afar [Way off]; 113d Ewan [McGregor of the "Star Wars" films]; 115d psis [Fraternity letters]; 119d fie! ["Down with you!"]; 120d oho! ["You can't fool me!"].

2 comments:

ja66erwock said...

actually et in french means and...le la and les are thes. and to be abroad is etre, to be in french...

Crossword Man said...

Thanks for the corrections. I hope I've fixed all the problems in the full post.