Saturday, April 18, 2009

NYT Sunday 4/19/09 - Into Overtime

Magdalen and I solved this lovely crossword over supper on Saturday night. Once we got wrecking ballot, we knew this would be a great puzzle - who would have thought that you could do the same trick with John Maynard Keynes?

We're not too serious about timing the Sunday jumbo puzzles, but I sensed this one took around half an hour - we kind of wished it would go on longer (into overtime?) as there was no sign the compiler was running out of great puns to fit the theme.
Solving time: 30 mins (no cheating, collaborative effort)
Clue of the puzz: 59d Annie {Hall of fame}

Overtime (the title is "Extra! Extra!"): seven answers have OT inserted, making a pun:
22a wrecking ballot {Spoiling one's vote?}
32a spotlit screen {Computer monitor at the center of attention?}
47a Othello dolly {Child's toy in the shape of a Shakespeare character?}
64a John Maynard Keynotes {Headline about an economics conference?}
84a royal flu shot {Booster for a king?}
97a black footrest {Dark ottoman?}
109a trot out quintet {Put five musicians on display?}

Will Nediger
Grid art by Sympathy [about the grid colors]

CompilersWill Nediger / Will Shortz
Grid21x21 with 72 (16.3%) black squares
Answers142 (average length 5.20)
Theme squares97 (26.3%)
Scrabble points616 (average 1.67)
New To Me

Stratego10a Spy {Stratego piece}. Stratego is not a game I ever played. It's a board game that simulates military tactics to some extent: each side has a Spy and Scouts as well as the usual army ranks.

Asahi Beer Hall30d Asahi {Tokyo brew}. I don't recall seeing this Japanese beer in England - there seemed to be enough home-brewed stuff to go around. Asahi Breweries is the second largest in Japan; its headquarters building sports an oddly-shaped flame that's nicknamed the golden ... I'll leave you to work that one out!

34d Iliad {Epic that includes the Teichoscopia}. Judging by Teichoscopia, I confidently predicted to Magdalen that the answer would be a sci-fi novel. How wrong could I be? Teichoscopia means "viewing from the walls" and is a passage in which Helen catalogs the heroes she sees below on the Trojan plain.
Come here, dear girl.
Look at the amazing things going on.
Horse-taming Trojans and bronze-clad Achaeans,
men who earlier were fighting one another
in wretched war out there on the plain,
both keen for war's destruction, are sitting still.
Alexander and war-loving Menelaus
are going to fight with their long spears for you.
The man who triumphs will call you his dear wife.
From The Iliad, Book 3 by Homer

William Tell111d Uri {William Tell's canton}. And we're supposed to know this how? Uri is one of 26 cantons in Switzerland. The legendary hero is said to have lived there in the early 14th century.


bipod24a bipods {Rifle stands}. It took a while to understand this, as I first assumed the stand was for storing a rifle - no, a bipod is the simple support that keeps a rifle stable during firing.

69a cop {One not missing a beat?}; 82a Carnegie {Man of steel?}; 43d ATM {Dough dispenser}. This puzzle was full of great misleading definitions, often marked with those tell-tale question marks. These three were among my favs.

88a gnu {Bearded beast}. I thought the gnu was endangered species in crosswords, being dubbed "crosswordese". As crosswordese goes, I don't find gnus too objectionable, especially as they remind me of this wonderful Flanders and Swann song:

cuneiform16d wedge {Bit of cuneiform}. It helped to know a little etymology with this one: cuneiform comes from the Latin cuneus "wedge": the characters were formed from wedge shapes made by impressing a stylus into clay.

19d anno {52 settimane}. Just when I got Spanish all wrapped up, we seem to be getting a load of Italian words now.

silo32d silo {Titan's home}. Another nicely misleading clue: these Titans are not the powerful deities of Greek mythology, but ICBM launchers. They were obsolete as of 2006, and are being scrapped or preserved as monuments.

59d Annie {Hall of fame}. Annie Hall is one of my favorite movies, though I would love this clue anyway - it's been seen in the NYT before, but is too good not to have again. I used to think all New Yorkers lived like the characters in Woody Allen movies, but I know better now.

65d opera {"Nixon in China," for one}. I've been hoping a John Adams reference would come up so I could rave about his music. Magdalen and I saw Nixon in China at the English National Opera in 2006 - it didn't make much impression then, but I've since heard the recording many times and find the music really gripping, witty and lyrical by turns. I've also been impressed by Harmonielehre. Here's Nixon's arrival on Air Force One:

tin112d tin {10th-anniversary gift}. Magdalen and I have our first wedding anniversary this Tuesday, so we've only just got to paper and have a long way to go before we hit tin.

The Rest

1a Beatle {John or George}; 7a orb {Space ball}; 13a Stowe {It's near Mount Mansfield, Vermont's highest peak}; 18a Maria Maria {2000 Santana hit}; 20a Poe {"The Oblong Box" writer}; 21a amazes {Dumbfounds}; 25a Kenny {Often-killed "South Park" character}; 26a oar {Stroke, maybe}; 27a syringe {Injection deliverer}; 28a spa {Place for R&R}; 31a boo {Stadium cry}; 35a yes sir {Private response?}; 37a Nia {Vardalos of "My Big Fat Greek Wedding"}; 38a Salish {Northwest Indian}; 39a Drake {Golden Hind captain}; 40a pull a {___ fast one}; 42a Wil {Actor Wheaton}; 43a AC-DC {Australian band with the 2008 #1 album "Black Ice"}; 50a Alcatraz {The Rock}; 53a whit {Scintilla}; 54a Eli {Horror film director Roth}; 55a staid {Strait-laced}; 57a Ramada {Red Roof rival}; 58a came to {Totaled}; 61a err {Transgress}; 62a mar {Punch holes in, e.g.}; 63a nor {"... ___ any drop to drink": Coleridge}; 70a nix {Overrule}; 71a Mme. {Bovary's title: Abbr.}; 72a saline {Like the ocean}; 73a Onegin {Pushkin title character}; 75a Keogh {Retirement plan name}; 77a Gia {Supermodel Carangi}; 78a Ashe {North Carolina county}; 87a ASAP {Pronto}; 90a spree {Word with shooting or shopping}; 91a neath {Opposite of o'er}; 92a sold to {Unloaded on}; 95a eat {Feed on}; 96a Ridley {Filmdom's Scott}; 102a roo {Kanga's kid}; 103a ell {90-degree turn}; 104a reply to {Answer}; 105a EMS {911 responder: Abbr.}; 106a segno {Musical repetition mark}; 108a aerobe {Oxygen-needing organism}; 115a iron-on {Like some decals}; 116a hen {Brooder}; 117a predestine {Ordain}; 118a NYNEX {Part of a big 1997 merger}; 119a odd {Like most primes}; 120a tip {15%, maybe}; 121a stoned {Squiffed}.

1d BMW {Z3 maker}; 2d ear {Prominent donkey feature}; 3d are {Word with you}; 4d tick {"60 Minutes" sound}; 5d Lake Biel {The Aare flows into it}; 6d E minor {Key of Dvorák's "New World" Symphony}; 7d orgy {Liberal party?}; 8d rib {Eve's origin}; 9d baa {Sound from the fold}; 10d splats {Food fight noises}; 11d poor law {Welfare act of old}; 12d yet {"But then again ..."}; 13d smirch {Tarnish}; 14d tapir {Ungulate with a long snout}; 15d ozone {Ultraviolet blocker}; 17d Essen {Ruhr Valley city}; 21d abyss {Gaping hole}; 23d loo {London facilities}; 27d still {Sauce maker?}; 28d Sydow {Max von ___}; 29d Perth {City on the Swan River}; 33d palls {Gloomy atmospheres}; 36d sketch {"S.N.L." segment}; 37d nudity {Reason for an R rating}; 40d pole-ax {Medieval weapon}; 41d alter egos {Superheroes often have them}; 44d crane {Origami figure}; 45d dados {Carpenters' grooves}; 46d czar {Autocrat}; 48d lemming {Not an independent thinker}; 49d yard {Play area}; 51d cranial {Heady?}; 52d Aaron {Hammerin' Hank}; 56d irks {Rubs the wrong way}; 60d on me {"This one's ___"}; 62d My Life {Bill Clinton's autobiography}; 64d Jonas {Pop's ___ Brothers}; 66d amor {Love, to a Latino}; 67d eaglet {Aerie hatchling}; 68d teased {Acted the coquette}; 69d coca {Chewed stimulant}; 74d GNP {Econ. indicator}; 75d kendo {Sport with a bamboo sword}; 76d hypes {Pumps up}; 79d shale {Fossil source}; 80d hotel {Monopoly acquisition}; 81d ethyl {Kind of alcohol}; 83d igloo {Part of an Inuit village}; 85d a rat {"I smell ___"}; 86d unionist {Lincoln, for one}; 89d uttered {Articulated}; 92d skybox {Where a V.I.P. may sit}; 93d often {In many cases}; 94d Ormond {Julia of "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"}; 96d rogues {Miscreants}; 97d brain {Computer's center, informally}; 98d leery {Circumspect}; 99d apron {Stage part}; 100d clone {Cell mate?}; 101d -est {Facetious suffix with most}; 102d reqd. {Not optional: Abbr.}; 106d step {Algorithm part}; 107d onto {Not fooled by}; 109d Tho {Vietnam's Le Duc ___}; 110d opt {Make a selection}; 113d -ene {Suffix with 81-Down}; 114d Ted {J.F.K. aide Sorensen}.

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