Sunday, April 26, 2009

NYT Monday 4/27/09 - The Same Middle Name

This Monday New York Times crossword seems to be a variant of one of my favorite jokes: what do Dora the Explorer, Joe the Plumber and Rosie the Riveter have in common? Answer: the same middle name!

It was a surprise to see the byline Joe Krozel on a Monday puzzle, as all three of his puzzles so far this year have been of the super-fiendish Saturday variety. But there wasn't a mistake in the scheduling: this Monday puzzle was among the easiest I have solved - miraculously, there was only one answer (Kasem) I didn't know.
Solving time: 6 mins (no cheating)
Theme

Characters, real and imaginary, known by their trades:
24a Dora the Explorer {Animated TV character whose best friend is Boots}. Dora debuted in 1999 and has the monkey Boots as her best friend. She is a Latina and helps children to learn Spanish - sounds like I could benefit from watching from her tuition!



35a Joe the Plumber {2008 campaign personality}. It was hard to escape Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher aka Joe the Plumber in the recent election campaign. Turns out his name isn't Joe, he isn't a plumber and he owes taxes.



50a Rosie the Riveter {Norman Rockwell painting subject of W.W. II}. Although Rosie the Riveter became an iconic figure that transcended any one individual, she was originally based on the real riveter Rose Will Monroe, who worked at the Willow Run Aircraft Factory in Ypsilanti, MI.

Solution

Joe Krozel
Grid art by Sympathy [about the grid colors]

Crucimetrics
CompilersJoe Krozel / Will Shortz
Grid15x15 with 38 (16.9%) black squares
Answers76 (average length 4.92)
Theme squares43 (23.0%)
Scrabble points320 (average 1.71)
Letters usedABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
New To Me

32a Kasem {Casey of "American Top 40"}. Casey Kasem has hosted the radio chart countdown show American Top 40 for much of its existence, but isn't currently at the helm. Seems to be equivalent to the weekly Chart Show on BBC Radio 1.



Noteworthy

10a E for {Get an ___ effort}. I charitably had the answer A for to start with. It seems an "E for Effort" is used by teachers with a sense of irony (which I sensed from mine was a qualification for the job).

be mine22a Be Mine {Valentine candy message}. This was definitely one of the messages on the Love Hearts I liked as a kid. But at the age I enjoyed Love Hearts, I wasn't about to give them away to anybody ... "candy, be mine ... mmm"!

tin hat55a tin hat {Helmet from W.W. I or W.W. II}. Magdalen claims to have had difficulty with this one. It's a misnomer, because tin hats are made out of steel - a hat made out of tin wouldn't be much protection for lead coming your way, now would it?

The Rest

1a mask {Part of a Halloween costume}; 5a humus {Rich soil component}; 14a unto {"Do ___ others as ..."}; 15a unapt {Not appropriate}; 16a trio {Duo plus one}; 17a scar {Mark left from an injury}; 18a say 'no' {Refuse a request}; 19a held {Detained}; 20a thresh {Separate grains from wheat, e.g.}; 28a -ory {Suffix with access}; 29a pup {Young dog or seal}; 30a Tse {China's Mao ___-tung}; 31a Iwo {___ Jima}; 34a Aden {Main port of Yemen}; 40a hung {Like paintings and some juries}; 41a hence {As a result}; 42a ade {Fruity cooler}; 43a sac {Animal pouch}; 46a ETD {Plane takeoff guess: Abbr.}; 47a à la {Chicken ___ king}; 54a lock in {Fix permanently, as an interest rate}; 56a is in {"Beauty ___ the eye ..."}; 58a Intel {Semiconductor giant}; 60a dope {Idiot}; 61a deci- {Tenth: Prefix}; 62a nurse {Hospital attendant}; 63a emir {Kuwaiti leader}; 64a exec {Business V.I.P.}; 65a speed {Velocity}; 66a deny {Say "No, I didn't"}.

1d must-do {High-priority item}; 2d anchor {Katie Couric, for one}; 3d starry {Like the night sky}; 4d Korea {Seoul's home}; 5d hush-hush {Top-secret}; 6d una {Italian article}; 7d maybe {Answer that's between yes and no}; 8d up next {Coming immediately after, as on TV}; 9d stomps {Leaves in a huff, with "out"}; 10d ethno- {Prefix with -centric}; 11d free ride {Something for nothing, as what a hitchhiker seeks}; 12d oil {OPEC product}; 13d rod {Fishing pole}; 21d St. Pat {March 17 honoree, for short}; 23d ile {___ de France}; 25d épée {Sword of sport}; 26d ewer {Fancy pitcher}; 27d Ron {Politico ___ Paul}; 32d keg {Beer blast centerpiece}; 33d mph {Measure of a car's 65-Across: Abbr.}; 34d Abe {Lincoln, informally}; 35d judo {Cousin of karate}; 36d one slice {Minimum pizza order}; 37d leer {Lusty look}; 38d untitled {Like the Beatles' White Album}; 39d MCDVI {The year 1406}; 40d har {Part of a guffaw}; 43d sec. {1/60 of a min.}; 44d Atkins {Diet doctor}; 45d chin up! {"Don't let it get you down!"}; 47d at home {Comfortable (with)}; 48d leap in {Go right at it, as work}; 49d artery {Vein's counterpart}; 51d ionic {Kind of column, in architecture}; 52d entre {___ nous (between us)}; 53d ended {Kaput}; 56d -ide {Suffix with chlor-}; 57d sex {It sells in advertising, they say}; 59d ESE {180 degrees from WNW}.

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