Wednesday, May 27, 2009

NYT Thursday 5/28/09 - Get It Over With

Surprisingly, this Thursday New York Times crossword was done quicker than yesterday's, perhaps because I knew I'd have to do the write-up before going to bed (we've got another day trip to Philly tomorrow) and wanted to get it over with.

I did get one letter wrong, but I don't think spending more time would have helped there: in fact, trying to think logically about 47a Oca and 41d Magilla led me to erase the correct letter and put in a wrong one.

The rebus theme was interestingly different to usual, with groups of squares representing the central across answer "get over it" (fairly unhelpful advice in my experience). By the time I realized what was going on, I already had the two lower GET/IT groups, but predicting where the upper two would go was helpful for answers like 17a page-turner and 21a Roget's.
Solving time: 19 mins (no cheating, two wrong answers)
Clue of the puzz: 17a page-turner {Something that's hard to close?}
Theme

36a get over it {Advice for the brokenhearted ... or one of four arrangements found literally in this puzzle}. The letters GET appear just above IT in each of the four grid corners.

Solution

Gary Cee
Grid art by Sympathy [about the grid colors]

Crucimetrics
CompilersGary Cee / Will Shortz
Grid15x15 with 32 (14.2%) black squares
Answers76 (average length 5.08)
Theme squares29 (15.0%)
Scrabble points265 (average 1.37)
Letters usedABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
New To Me

32a Eli {___ Broad College of Business}. Once I'd sorted out the down answers, Eli seemed an eminently suitable first name for a college founder. Eli Broad (rhymes with road) is an American billionaire who endowed the College of Business at his alma mater Michigan State University.

47a Oca {Mozart's "L'___ del Cairo"}. L'Oca del Cairo is an obscure opera from a composer I don't usually seek out these days. The work seemed to be one of his Italian ones and I wrote in Oca before deciding that it must be Oce, which I hoped was Italian for "ocean". Big mistake not to go with my first instinct on this one. Incidentally, Oca is Italian for "goose".

54a UMW {Diggers' org.}. Magdalen and I are both off to the dentist again tomorrow, so I wondered if this would be the American Dental Association. The diggers in the clue have a less delicate task to do, their union being the United Mine Workers.

Bela Kun59a Béla {Hungarian Communist leader ___ Kun}. Another unfamiliar name, though I got to thinking that if one famous Hungarian - Bartók - was a Béla, then Kun might be too. Béla Kun (1886–1938) founded the Communist Party in Hungary and set up a Soviet republic in Budapest in March 1919. This failed to gain popular support and Kun fled for his life in August of the same year.

18d Talese {"The Kingdom and the Power" author, 1969}. I came across Gay Talese in a previous NYT crossword this year, so the name didn't freak me out, but there was no chance I'd recognize the book title. The Kingdom and the Power is the inside story of The New York Times, where Talese had worked for 12 years.

22d Gus {Director Van Sant}. Gus Van Sant is the director of such movies as Good Will Hunting (1997) and Milk (2008).



29d Rego {___ Park, N.Y.}. I could have got into trouble over the last letter, but the crossing limo seemed secure. Rego Park is not a park, but a neighborhood in Queens; it's named after the Real Good Construction Company, which developed the area in the 1920s.

41d Magilla {___ Gorilla, 1960s cartoon title character}. I had no ideas about this cartoon, so I got into trouble with the second letter: I started with Magilla/Oca then changed my mind and thought Megilla/Oce more likely. Magilla Gorilla was a Hanna-Barbera cartoon, produced between 1963 and 1967. Here's an example:



Noteworthy

17a page-turner {Something that's hard to close?}. A lovely deceptive definition - I only worked it out after seeing where one of the GETs had to go.

21a Roget's {Editor's resource}. Ie Roget's Thesaurus, an essential resource expedient if you're trying to avoid repetition.

35a one g {Force felt on earth}. I love this clue, as it kept me in suspense for a long time as to what this force might be. Of course, it turned out to be what you'd expect - gravity - just in a form we're not used to hearing.

67a Eres {"___ Tu" (1974 hit)}. Eres Tu is Spanish for "you are" and was a hit for Mocedades, being chosen as Spain's entry in the 1973 Eurovision Song Contest. I wouldn't have known any of this, except virtually the same clue came up in the April 1st NYT puzzle.



alameda2d alameda {Tree-lined avenue}. Definitely not an everyday word for me, but somewhere in the avenues of my mind, I knew this word existed.
alameda n a public walk, esp between rows of poplars.
From The Chambers Dictionary
44d stutter {Sound before "That's all, folks!"}. What a great way to clue stutter - another tough clue that was obviously right once you saw the answer, the stutterer being Porky the Pig.



45d Someone {Gershwin's "___ to Watch Over Me"}. A gimme, as this is one of my fav jazz standards.



48d MTM {'70s TV production co.}. The only reason I recalled MTM Enterprises was of course their kitten logo, parodying MGM's. In fact I remember the kitten more than any of the shows that preceded it, which could have been Hill Street Blues, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, or summat else.



59d BMI {Songwriters' grp.}. Another answer dredged up from who-knows-where: Broadcast Music Incorporated is one of three US performing rights orgs. along with ASCAP and SESAC. Three acronyms you've got to know apparently.

The Rest

1a calm {Not having big waves}; 5a Sousa {Bandmaster from 1880 to 1931}; 10a twos {The animals for Noah's Ark came in these}; 14a alee {"Hard ___!" (captain's order)}; 15a agree {Match}; 16a a rut {Stuck, after "in"}; 19a kite {Relative of a hawk}; 20a imitate {Mirror}; 23a ter {Three times, in prescriptions}; 24a less {Nothing ___}; 26a suitor {George Knightley, to Emma Woodhouse}; 28a adores {Prizes}; 30a efts {Small amphibians}; 33a lanes {What road hogs hog}; 34a Brea {City in Orange County, Calif.}; 39a limo {Wedding rental}; 42a hoed {Like many a garden}; 43a Rossi {Vintner Martini's associate}; 48a menu {It may start with "Starters"}; 49a Breton {Dweller on the Bay of Biscay}; 50a begets {Fathers}; 52a pare {Skin}; 55a bitmap {Certain computer image format}; 57a sage-tea {Herbal beverage}; 60a inquisitor {One in search of heretics}; 62a melt {Go weak at the knees}; 63a nears {Verges on}; 64a rend {Split}; 65a IRAs {Personal reserve funds, for short}; 66a tutee {Eliza Doolittle in "Pygmalion," e.g.}.

1d capital {Financing}; 3d leg-iron {Houdini escape device}; 4d meet {Where races are run}; 5d sautés {Browns}; 6d ogres {Giants of folklore}; 7d urn {Ossuary, maybe}; 8d seer {Samuel, e.g., in the Bible}; 9d Aerostar {Ford's first minivan}; 10d Takei {George of "Star Trek"}; 11d written {Set down}; 12d outsole {Shoe part that touches the floor}; 13d Ste. {Marthe or Marie: Abbr.}; 25d serve up {Produce and present}; 27d rig {Teamster's transport}; 31d feed {Barn sackful}; 34d boon {Blessing}; 35d Otoe {Tribe met by Lewis and Clark}; 37d The Saint {1960s Roger Moore TV series}; 38d irregs. {Discount store offerings, for short}; 39d lob {High pitch}; 40d ice beer {Brew introduced in the 1990s}; 46d inwards {Toward the center}; 49d braise {Cook, in a way, as beef}; 51d Etats {Les ___-Unis}; 53d a sure {"It's ___ bet!"}; 56d PNEU {French tire}; 58d Eire {The Chieftains' home}; 61d qat {African plant whose leaves are chewed as a stimulant}.

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