Monday, March 23, 2009

NYT Tuesday 3/24/09 - Resident Aliens

Today's theme answers conjure up an image: police approach from all sides and seem to have something surrounded in the center of the grid. Could it be the ETs, trapped by the local sheriffs awaiting the arrival of Scully and Mulder? If so, an alien is about to escape to the west.

I may be reading too much into this one, but grids that paint a picture are common in the Listener Crossword. That other crossword series is on my mind this week, as we're about to head over to the UK to attend the annual Listener Crossword Dinner. It will be good to catch up with the many friends I made in my old life as co-editor.
Solving time: 11 mins (no cheating)

Four phrases containing slang terms for 62a police:
20a peach fuzz [Adolescent boy's growth]
55a cops a plea [Bargains for leniency]
10d Stan The Man [Musial's nickname]
26d heatstroke [Dehydration may help bring this on]

Pancho Harrison
Grid art by Sympathy [about the grid colors]

CompilersPancho Harrison / Will Shortz
Grid15x15 with 36 (16.0%) black squares
Answers78 (average length 4.85)
Theme squares38 (20.1%)
Scrabble points298 (average 1.58)
New To Me

25a Mr T ["I Pity the Fool" star]. I got the right answer, but for the wrong reasons. I thought the catchphrase was from The A-Team because it's exactly the sort of thing B. A. Baracas would say to "Howling Mad" Murdock. Actually, I Pity The Fool was Mr. T's reality show in 2006.

26a Hoss [Brother of Little Joe on '60s TV]. Now we really are in TV nostalgia territory: Hoss and Little Joe were the second and third sons of Ben Cartwright in Bonanza.

41a Jett [Joan of the Blackhearts]. Joan Jett is a rocker best-known for her work as part of Joan Jett & the Blackhearts. Here's their hit cover of "I Love Rock N' Roll":

The Knotted Gun3d UN Day [It's observed on Oct. 24]. Parsing this took a little work: unday isn't what happens during an eclipse; UN Day is the anniversary of the Charter of the United Nations and aims to publicize the objectives and achievements of the UN.

9d Ike [Clanton at the O.K. Corral]. Ike Clanton was the main instigator of the gunfight, but was unarmed when the shooting began and fled.

11d Marg [Helgenberger of "CSI"]. CSI is one of Magdalen's favorites, but the cast list hasn't registered with me. Marg Helgenberger plays forensic scientist Catherine Willows.

Uncle Sam and J. P. Morgan21d U.S. Steel [J. P. Morgan co.]. I wrongly assumed J. P. Morgan was the bank here and that U. S. Steel was a recent acquisition. No, it's the financier, who founded U. S. Steel when he bought out the interests of Andrew Carnegie in 1901. Back then, Morgan was perceived as having a larger role in the economy than the Federal Government.


31a alien [Little green man], 38a ETs [Little green men, for short]. Might as well exploit the coincidence of these two answers with clues that echo each other.

48a Roeg ["The Witches" director Nicolas]. I'm not familiar with this movie, but admire the director's work in earlier ones such as Walkabout and Don't Look Now.

7d Liszt ["Hungarian Rhapsodies" composer]. These pieces based on Hungarian folk themes were originally for solo piano, but Liszt also created orchestrated versions. Here's Tom to play one for you:

8d Antz [Animated bug film of 1998]. The cruciverse owes a debt of gratitude to this film for creating another answer ending in Z. The protagonist in the movie is the angst-ridden ant Z-4195, voiced by Woody Allen.

dust mop27d dust mop [Housecleaning aid]. To a Brit, a dust mop seems oxymoronic, because mops are for getting wet.

nard29d nard [Source of a fragrant oil]. I knew this word, but Magdalen didn't, so here's a picture. nard aka spikenard is an aromatic plant whose root yields an essential oil used in herbal medicine.

Cruciverbalism35d Ott [Mel in Cooperstown]. OTT is one of Stanley Newman's 100 Essential Words in Cruciverbalism, so for a change I knew someone who played baseball. I think of Cooperstown more as the home of Glimmerglass and haven't yet made it into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum (gasps of horror from around the US).

49d algid [Chilly]. Did anyone else have gelid? I'd forgotten there was more than one option here.

Fearless Fosdick52d Capp [Al who created Fearless Fosdick]. We had Al Capp back in January as the Li'l Abner creator and I gather Fearless Fosdick was a strip-within-a-strip in that series, a parody of the Dick Tracy strip.

The Rest

1a lauded [Wrote an ode to]; 7a Lai [China's Chou En-___]; 10a Smee [Captain Hook's henchman]; 14a El Niño [Cause of weird weather]; 15a ink [Press worker's stain]; 16a ta-ta [Brighton bye-bye]; 17a adds to [Augments]; 18a stewards [Wine servers]; 22a angst [Recurring Woody Allen theme]; 23a try [Have a go at]; 24a rust [What oil helps dissolve]; 27a Dashing ["Jingle Bells" starter]; 34a tour [Soldier's period of service]; 36a Esau [Isaac's eldest]; 37a pupae [Cocoon occupants]; 39a Kmart [Target competitor]; 40a slot [Where a tab is inserted]; 42a A and E ["Biography" network, once]; 43a old soul [King Cole was a merry one]; 45a Mann ["Death in Venice" author Thomas]; 47a TNT [Demolition aid]; 49a ads [Some Super Bowl Sunday highlights]; 52a Cairo [Africa's largest city]; 57a also-rans [Dukakis in 1988 and Dole in 1996]; 59a origin [(0,0) on a graph]; 60a peak [Reach a high]; 61a Abe [Grampa Simpson]; 63a peke [Lap dog, informally]; 64a ACs [Window units, briefly]; 65a solder [Electrician's alloy].

1d leapt [Did an axel, e.g.]; 2d alder [Tree with catkins]; 4d disc [Wink in tiddlywinks, e.g.]; 5d enthrone [Make king or queen]; 6d doofus [Goofball]; 12d ETDs [LAX postings]; 13d East [American League division]; 19d wars [Some are declared]; 25d mar [Scratch]; 28d is an ["This ___ outrage!"]; 30d Gute ["___ Nacht" (German words of parting)]; 31d Apso [Lhasa ___]; 32d lull [Temporary calm]; 33d iPod [Popular MP3 player]; 39d kangaroo [Emblem on the Australian coat of arms]; 41d jut [Protrude]; 44d on or [___ about (circa)]; 46d Aesop's ["___ Fables"]; 48d roses [Gift on Valentine's Day]; 50d de-ice [Make less chilly]; 51d saner [Less loopy]; 53d alee [Away from the wind]; 54d Isak ["Out of Africa" author Dinesen]; 55d CNBC ["Fast Money" network]; 56d pill [Dosage unit]; 58d AAA [Battery size].


Tom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Matt Droll said...

Glad to hear that someone else thinks of Cooperstown (my hometown) for something other than baseball.

Love reading your posts each day.

Crossword Man said...

Yes, we love Cooperstown and Glimmerglass - we're going to Cinders and Traviata this year and look forward to seeing what fellow-Brit Jonathan Miller makes of the latter.