Friday, July 24, 2009

NYT Saturday 7/25/09 - In The Black

This is an abbreviated form of my usual blog, as I'm currently on vacation in Toronto. Today we got to the Art Gallery of Ontario or AGO for short (Toronto itself is T.O. - Ontarians love their abbrs.). We headed for the Canadian collection, figuring we could see European art anywhere; I enjoyed the twentieth century pictures, primarily by painters known as the Group of Seven, as well as the earlier paintings of Cornelius Krieghoff, which evoke the life of the early settlers.

black squirrelI finally got down to the waterfront and came across several bizarre creatures I couldn't quite believe existed: black squirrels. Apparently these are a form of the grey squirrel and theirs was the dominant color until the arrival of the European settlers. Now they are the rarer form, except in the northern part of the grey squirrel range (possibly because the black variety are better adapted to the cold).

This Saturday New York Times crossword seemed straightforward, but then I had Henry's help throughout - he was particularly good at getting several 15-letter answers and I know from experience that these are of great value in completing end-of-week puzzles. We enjoyed the many delightful clues, particularly the juxtaposed 46a decaf {Certain joe} and 50a sloppy {Kind of joe}, as well as 47-Down. In view of where we are, it was funny to see 32a Ont. {Home to Stratford: Abbr.}.

This will be my last abbreviated post for a while, as we're returning home tomorrow - normal service will be resumed with Sunday's crossword.
Solving time: 15 mins (with Henry, no solving aids)
Clue of the puzz: 47d eater {One working on the side?}
Solution

Victor Fleming
Grid art by Sympathy [about the grid colors]

Crucimetrics
CompilersVictor Fleming / Will Shortz
Grid15x15 with 30 (13.3%) black squares
Answers70 (average length 5.57)
Theme squares0 (0.0%)
Scrabble points277 (average 1.42)
Letters usedABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
The Clues

1a Afta {Brand seen near razors}; 5a incumbents {They're in seats}; 15a tarp {Cover-up during a shower}; 16a neorealism {Philosophy of Montague or Santayana}; 17a propose marriage {Inquire about a union contract?}; 19a à clef {Roman ___}; 20a tinct {Color faintly}; 21a Ste. {One may be prayed to: Abbr.}; 22a relate {Connect}; 24a noise {Crash accompanier}; 26a retag {Alter in a clothing store?}; 28a swan {Trumpeter with a prominent neck}; 32a Ont. {Home to Stratford: Abbr.}; 35a numismatist {Quarter master?}; 39a vested interests {They benefit personally}; 41a Empire State {East Coast sobriquet}; 42a cab {Crane component}; 43a rose {One symbol of the 41-Across}; 44a Oreos {Filled treats}; 46a decaf {Certain joe}; 50a sloppy {Kind of joe}; 54a beg {Seek change?}; 57a Aaron {Father of Eleazar, in the Bible}; 59a aurae {Psychics claim to see them}; 60a electrical storm {Meteorological shocker?}; 63a nom de plume {Something often written under}; 64a Emme {Model Melissa Aronson, familiarly}; 65a distressed {Hardly happy}; 66a roan {Relative of a chestnut}.

1d at par {For what it's worth}; 2d farce {Play genre}; 3d troll {Sing the parts of in succession}; 4d appear {Be published}; 5d ins. {It'll cover you: Abbr.}; 6d Neet {Brand seen near razors, once}; 7d coming into focus {Losing the fuzz?}; 8d urano- {Heavens: Prefix}; 9d merci {Word of politesse}; 10d Bart's {St. ___ (Caribbean hot spot)}; 11d Eli {"My God!," as cried by King David}; 12d Nias {Actress Long and others}; 13d TSgt {U.S.A.F. NCO}; 14d Smee {Hook go-with?}; 18d oftener {Not so rarely}; 23d étude {Something to practice}; 25d Este {City near Padua}; 27d Amis {"London Fields" novelist, 1989}; 29d Wisc. {Superior setting: Abbr.}; 30d Asta {Hairy clue-sniffer}; 31d NTSB {It may delve into a derailment: Abbr.}; 32d over {Supervising}; 33d Nemo {Seaman whose last words were "God and my country!"}; 34d tsps. {Some are level: Abbr.}; 36d star {Kindergarten "grade"}; 37d metes {Dishes (out)}; 38d areolas {Biological interstices}; 40d tied {Even}; 45d Souter {Brennan's successor on the Supreme Court}; 47d eater {One working on the side?}; 48d carpe {Seize, in a saying}; 49d arils {Edible pomegranate parts}; 51d promo {Many an ad}; 52d Parma {Province next to Piacenza}; 53d Yemen {Mocha setting}; 54d bend {River feature}; 55d Eloi {Wellsian race}; 56d gems {Beauties}; 58d name {It may be dropped}; 61d CDT {Spring setting in Chi-Town}; 62d led {Had the edge}.

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