Sunday, April 26, 2009

NYT Sunday 4/26/09 - Bumper-to-bumper

Magdalen and I solved this Sunday New York Times crossword en route to The Woman in Black at the Cider Mill Playhouse. In London, I'd been past the Fortune Theatre (where this show had a long run) many times, but not dared step in to see this ghost story adaptation. I really enjoyed the Cider Mill's production, though it seemed to leave some of the Americans in the audience cold (and not in the intended way) - for once I could pick up on all the references (to train stations, British actors etc) that no-one else did.

The puzzle by 2009 ACPT finalist Trip Payne was a lot of fun to solve - answers involved in the rebus theme seemed to be bumper-to-bumper in the grid, which kept us on our toes when solving.
Solving time: 45 mins (no cheating, collaborative effort)
Clue of the puzz: 109a stripper {One who's barely working?}

A "rebus" theme in which the hesitations er and um occupy a single cell.


Trip Payne
Grid art by Sympathy

CompilersTrip Payne / Will Shortz
Grid21x21 with 77 (17.5%) black squares
New To Me

1a SLC {2002 Winter Olympics host: Abbr.}. I correctly guessed Salt Lake City right away, but hadn't met this TLA before. Here's the short program from Men's figure skating gold medal winner Alexei Yagudin:

105d Eris {Largest known dwarf planet}. I assumed this must be a reference to the asteroid Eros, which is annoyingly only one letter out. No, Eris is the ninth-largest body orbiting the sun, bigger even than Pluto, which has been demoted to a dwarf planet. In Greek mythology, Eris is the goddess of strife (Discordia in Latin).


Wired7a Abrams {J. J. ___, co-creator of "Lost" and director of 2009's "Star Trek"}. The timing of this clue is perhaps no coincidence: J. J. Abrams is the guest editor of this month's Wired magazine, a "mystery issue" featuring puzzles by such luminaries as Will Shortz and Martin Gardner. We've barely begun to explore the challenges and will report back on our progress if/when we make any!

33a old man {Santiago, to Hemingway}. Santiago is the "old man" of The Old Man and the Sea, a novella that made a vivid impression on me when I studied it at school at the age of 13 or 14. This title has the interesting property (to word-lovers) of having all the words the same length. The book was made into a movie starring Spencer Tracy.

stripper109a stripper {One who's barely working?}. I have to confess to seeing through this one immediately - nonetheless a beautifully worded and fun clue.

9d Rys {Guitarist Cooder and others}. I don't know much about Ry Cooder's genre of American folk music, but his soundtrack to Paris, Texas was really memorable and so well suited to the movie's atmosphere.

veni, vidi, vici70d vici {End of a famous claim}. The claim being Julius Caesar's much referenced Veni, vidi, vici. Philip Morris cheekily adopts it as their motto.

104d tre {III, today}. A neat clue - it took us a while to see the connection between the Latin III and the Italian tre.

The Rest

4a MRI {It scans for problems}; 13a coopt {Take for one's own}; 18a too soon {Prematurely}; 20a Emmylou {Country singer Harris}; 21a angle {Two lines may make one}; 22a Angela's {"___ Ashes"}; 23a newspaper column {Op-ed piece, e.g.}; 25a serial numbers {Worries for ransom recipients}; 27a Eritrean {Resident of Asmara}; 28a HST {The 33rd pres.}; 29a moose {State animal of Maine}; 31a Vinci {Leonardo's home}; 37a sternums {Parts of some cages}; 39a memo {It may go around the office}; 43a per year {Annually}; 44a podracer {Anakin Skywalker flew one in "Star Wars Episode I"}; 46a Mumbai {Home of the National Stock Exchange of India}; 47a Big Easy {French Quarter's home, with "the"}; 48a umbra {Shadow}; 49a has a ball {Really enjoys oneself}; 51a atolls {Coral Sea features}; 52a hijack {Greeting you shouldn't say at an airport}; 54a rallyes {Driving events that use checkpoints}; 55a Sisler {Baseball Hall-of-Famer George}; 56a maces {Flanged weapons}; 57a noisier {More obstreperous}; 59a serum {Blood bank supply}; 60a not it {Tag line?}; 61a hides {Trappers' trophies}; 62a dev. {Partner of research: Abbr.}; 65a deaden {Blunt}; 67a Sufis {Dervishes, e.g.}; 68a Plummer {Actress Amanda}; 70a volumizer {Salon product for flat hair}; 73a geranium {Possible item in a window box}; 75a cue bid {Bridge tactic}; 76a intoning {Reading without emotion}; 78a Alan {Lyricist Bergman}; 79a hot date {Reason to get all gussied up}; 80a carne {___ picada (burrito filler)}; 81a hissing {Ominous jungle sound}; 83a aligns {Makes true}; 84a inst. {Amer. Film ___ (annual awards grp.)}; 85a bum steer {Lousy tip}; 86a craned {Rubbernecked}; 87a sooty {Like Santa's boots}; 88a it's up {"___ to you"}; 91a dam {Reservoir's edge}; 94a aviator {Professional who may wear goggles}; 98a bumper-to-bumper {Crowded, in a way}; 102a consumer interest {Individual debtors pay it}; 107a lose big {Be routed}; 108a clasp {Hold tight}; 110a easterner {North Carolinian, e.g.}; 111a tents {Pitched quarters}; 112a thesis {Writing that needs defending}; 113a eta {Seventh-brightest star in a constellation}; 114a ergs {Units in physics}.

1d stash {Sock away}; 2d loners {They aren't gregarious}; 3d cogito ergo sum {Statement of philosophy}; 4d moll {Gang hanger-on}; 5d roan {Horse color}; 6d in summary {"To recap ..."}; 7d a mess {Make ___ of things}; 8d BMW {Rolls-Royce's parent company}; 10d alp {High point}; 11d moa {Bird once hunted by the Maori}; 12d supernumeraries {Extras}; 13d cacti {Much Arizona flora}; 14d on or {___ about}; 15d ogle {Eyeball}; 16d pluma {Feather, to Fernando}; 17d Tenn. {State trisected by a river of the same name: Abbr.}; 19d sea {Inland ___}; 20d enero {Madrid month}; 24d Erics {Hollywood's Roberts and others}; 26d bon {___ voyage}; 30d Esdras {Either of two books of the Apocrypha}; 31d Vera {Miles of film}; 32d inch {Unit indicated by "}; 34d Lyell {19th-century geologist Charles}; 35d dealer {Casino employee}; 36d mass {Aggregate}; 38d Trac {___ II razor}; 39d mumbler {Poor orator, perhaps}; 40d eBay {Its first sale was a broken laser pointer}; 41d male {Buck or boar}; 42d oils {"The Blue Boy" and others}; 43d pitier {Compassionate sort}; 44d pumicing {Using a certain abrasive on}; 45d objet {___ trouvé}; 46d Mali {Its capital is Bamako}; 47d bass {Paul Robeson, e.g.}; 50d sass {Cheek}; 52d hate {Detestation}; 53d knifing {Stabber's attack}; 56d Modern Humorist {Comedy webzine founded in 2000}; 58d odium {Detestation}; 60d Nazi {Extra in "The Producers"}; 61d Hunan {Spicy cuisine}; 62d Dumb and Dumberer {2003 sequel to a popular 1994 comedy}; 63d emits {Issues}; 64d Verde {Mesa ___}; 65d Dumont {Groucho Marx foil Margaret}; 66d eine {A in German class?}; 67d Salieri {Teacher of Schubert}; 68d put-in {Contribute}; 69d ledge {Narrow shelf}; 71d Onan {Second son of Judah}; 72d ltrs. {What P.O.'s handle}; 74d erase {Get out of the line?}; 75d cola {Dark quaff}; 77d gist {Heart}; 79d Harper Lee {Alabama-born novelist}; 82d sty {Shoat holder}; 85d booer {Rude audience member}; 86d cup {Demitasse, e.g.}; 87d stumps {What lumberjacks leave}; 89d tbsps. {Recipe amts.}; 90d Sumter {Historic South Carolina fort}; 92d aping {Taking off on}; 93d mergers {Wall Street newsmakers}; 94d acct. {It may require a password: Abbr.}; 95d vole {Relative of a lemming}; 96d in an {___ awkward position}; 97d asst. {___ mgr.}; 99d to a T {Exactly as required}; 100d ossa {Greek peak}; 101d bet {Run a risk}; 103d nth {Kind of power}; 106d epi- {Prefix with glottis}.


fex said...

Hi, slight error in "The Rest" but correct in Solution.
74d ease {Get out of the line?};
Should be: 74d erase (Get out of the line?);

Crossword Man said...

Hi fex, thanks for pointing out the er-ror - it's now corrected.