Wednesday, July 22, 2009

NYT Thursday 7/23/09 - Spot the Dog

Magdalen and Henry on Maid of the MistThis is an abbreviated form of my usual blog, as I'm currently on vacation in Ontario. Today we had a beautiful day for experiencing the many ways you can get a shower at Niagara Falls: getting a shower walking to the falls; getting a shower behind the falls; getting a shower at the foot of the falls; getting a shower in a boat in the middle of the falls.

We even got a shower in the one indoor attraction of the day Niagara's Fury: I went in expecting to see a movie, but when they handed out the ubiquitous Niagara Ponchos, realized there was more to it than that. In fact, this ride (of a sort) was an unexpected highlight of the day, and as exciting in its way as the boat trip on Maid of the Mist. We've now relocated to Toronto, where we'll spend a few more days before heading home.

I solved this Thursday New York Times crossword on my own and struggled a bit with the unusual idea. I managed to solve the majority of the puzzle without realizing how the theme clues worked: a clue like {Animal control officer} works almost as well as a clue to catcher as dog catcher. I got Who Let The Dogs Out very late in the day and only then realized the clues were leading to the entry plus a dog (or dogs in the case of the oddball 74-Across). This probably wasn't the most efficient way to go about things, hence the slowish solving time.
Solving time: 24 mins (solo, no solving aids)
Clue of the puzz: 61d nose {It has two holes}
Theme

7d Who Let The Dogs Out {Hit song from 2000 ... and a hint to 10 symmetrically arranged Across answers}. Ten across clues indicate compound words or phrases with one or more dogs; these dogs have been "let out" in the corresponding grid entries:
1a hot dog {Show-off}
9a Devil Dog {U.S. Marine}
15a alpha dog {Leader of the pack}
34a dog catcher {Animal control officer}
36a dog-ear {Folded corner}
46a dog tag {G.I.'s ID}
47a dog breeder {Person who raises and sells pups}
70a lucky dog {One falling into good fortune}
72a salty dog {Old sailor}
74a dog-eat-dog {Cutthroat}
Solution

Gary and Stephen Kennedy
Grid art by Sympathy [about the grid colors]

Crucimetrics
CompilersGary & Stephen Kennedy / Will Shortz
Grid16x15 with 40 (16.7%) black squares
Answers85 (average length 4.71)
Theme squares57 (28.5%)
Scrabble points333 (average 1.67)
Letters usedABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
Other Clues

4a meows {Manx cries}; 14a an A {"Wheel of Fortune" purchase}; 16a ovine {Like some flocks}; 17a Ren {Neurotic cartoon character}; 18a depot {End of the line, e.g.}; 19a Lexus {Auto debut of 1989}; 20a maglev {Bullet train type}; 22a like {Go for}; 24a ERs {Hosp. locations}; 25a viscera {Innards}; 27a knee {Common sports injury site}; 28a sit-in {Certain occupation}; 31a Otis {Milo's canine pal}; 32a USSR {See 4-Down}; 33a Troi {"Star Trek" empath}; 37a path {Trail}; 38a Model A {1927-31 Ford}; 42a Petrov {Alexander ___, Russian who popularized a chess opening}; 44a Erin {Hibernia}; 49a Rome {City containing a country}; 50a semi {Big rig}; 53a a job {"Get ___!"}; 54a zoned {Plotted for urban uses}; 55a axes {Cans}; 56a regales {Entertains}; 58a man! {"Holy moly!"}; 59a ATMs {20 places?}; 60a open up {Cry that may accompany pounding}; 64a octal {Using base 8}; 66a poach {Steal}; 68a Ole {___ Miss}; 69a at all {One bit}; 71a SNL {NBC-TV inits.}; 73a otter {Animal in a lodge}.

1d harm {Damage}; 2d One A {Ready to serve}; 3d Tang {Kraft Foods drink}; 4d Made in {With "the" and 32-Across, describing an old Matryoshka doll}; 5d Elevs. {Hgts.}; 6d opp. {Antonym: Abbr.}; 8d satiric {Mocking, in a way}; 9d Dole {Loser to Clinton}; 10d eve {The 31st vis-à-vis the 1st, e.g.}; 11d vixens {She-foxes}; 12d inures {Habituates}; 13d lesser {Inferior}; 21d LVII {Super Bowl of 2023}; 23d Kashmir {K2 locale}; 26d coat {Mac, e.g.}; 27d Kurd {Many a Kirkuk resident}; 28d step {Dance bit}; 29d irae {"Dies ___"}; 30d tort {Injury, in law}; 34d cave art {Lascaux paintings, e.g.}; 35d eon {Long, long time}; 37d por {With 48-Down, for example, south of the border}; 39d Eton {Cornwallis's school}; 40d lame {Pricey fabric}; 41d aged {Yellowing, maybe}; 43d RBIs {Parts of box scores: Abbr.}; 45d Reba {Sitcom with the character B.J.}; 48d ejemplo {See 37-Down}; 49d rose {Shot up}; 50d samoas {Some Girl Scout cookies}; 51d exacta {First-and-second bet}; 52d mental {A little nuts}; 54d zephyr {Feature of a pleasant summer day}; 57d Locke {"Two Treatises of Government" writer}; 59d ally {Friend}; 61d nose {It has two holes}; 62d ulna {Arms runner?}; 63d pelt {Stone, e.g.}; 65d Alt {PC key}; 67d act {Not delay}.

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